International Diabetes Federation World Diabetes Day

WDD guide


Key Messages

  • Act to change your life today
    Healthy eating is an important part of managing all types of diabetes.
  • Act to change the world tomorrow
    Access to affordable healthy food is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes and ensuring global sustainable development.


  1. Act to change your life today
    Healthy eating is an important part of managing all types of diabetes.
  • Over 640 million of us may be living with type 2 diabetes by 2040. Delayed diagnosis means that many people with type 2 diabetes suffer from at least one complication by the time they are diagnosed with diabetes.
  • A healthy lifestyle could prevent up to 70% of type 2 diabetes, healthy eating can help reduce risks1.
  • A healthy diet containing leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meat, unsweetened yogurt and nuts can help reduce a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce complications in people with diabetes.
  • More of us will develop and live with type 1 diabetes. While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, a healthy lifestyle is an important part of effective management of the disease.
  • Encouraging healthy eating habits in young children is key to halting the rise of the diabetes epidemic. By ensuring the health of future generations, we take a step toward ensuring sustainable development.

Learn more about healthy eating and find out more about World Diabetes Day

1 Mekary, R. A., Giovannucci, E., Willett, W. C., van Dam, R. M., & Hu, F. B. (2012). Eating patterns and type 2 diabetes risk in men: breakfast omission, eating frequency, and snacking. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(5), 1182–1189. doi:10.3945/ ajcn.111.028209

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  1. Act to change the world tomorrow
    Access to affordable healthy food is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes and ensuring global sustainable development.
  • Diabetes is a huge and growing burden: whilst some 415 million adults were living with diabetes in 2015, this number is expected to skyrocket to more than 640 million people by 2040.
  • Global health spending to treat diabetes and manage complications was estimated to cost USD 673 billion in 20151.
  • Up to 11% of total healthcare expenditure in every country across the globe could be saved by tackling the preventable risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  • Up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles, equivalent to up to 150 million cases by 2035.
  • A healthy diet is, on average, USD 1.50 a day more expensive than an unhealthy one, increasing food costs for one person by about USD 550 a year.2
  • The number of people with diabetes in low- and middle-income countries will continue to grow, posing a threat to sustainable development. For example by 2035, the number of people with diabetes in the African region is expected to double.

Find out more about actions taken by policymakers on healthy eating and IDF’s call to action to the G20 and G7 governments

1 IDF Diabetes Atlas 7th edition 2015 www.idf.org/diabetesatlas

2. Do Healthier Foods and Diet Patterns Cost More Than Less Healthy Options? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Mayu- ree Rao, Ashkan Afshin, Gitanjali Singh, Dariush Mozaffarian, BMJ Open, December 5, 2013 - www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/healthy-vs-unhealthy-diet-costs-1-50-more/

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