World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225.

WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 170 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.

The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

The theme of World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2016 will be ‘Eyes on diabetes’.

Supporting materials for the campaign will be released from May 16 through to September in an effort to help WDD stakeholders to prepare for the day.

Act today to change tomorrow

In 2015 the World Diabetes Day campaign focused on healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes and a cornerstone of global health and sustainable development.

Healthy eating:

  • Can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • Is an important part of the effective management of all types of diabetes to help avoid complications

Two questions informed campaign activities:

  • How to ensure access to healthy food? Which healthy foods will help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?
  • Which healthy foods will help effectively manage all types of diabetes?

As part of the campaign, IDF launched The Framework for Action on Sugar. The framework is IDF’s official response to exploding sugar intake, increasing rates of obesity and the rising tide of diabetes, anticipated to affect 640 million people by 2040, a 55% increase on existing cases.

The Framework calls on national governments to implement policies to reduce sugar consumption and advocates specific measures to increase access to healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit and vegetables and clean drinking water, in order to help prevent new cases of type 2 diabetes. IDF estimates that up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented through lifestyle interventions.

Notably it calls for a ban on advertisement of sugar sweetened beverages to children and promotes taxation as part of government incentives to reduce sugar intake. Building on the WHO sugar guidelines released in March 2015, IDF also called for strengthened research to examine direct links between diabetes and sugar with a view to reducing sugar to 5% of daily energy intake (WHO sugar guidelines currently only recommend this as conditional).

2015 Campaign guide 2015 Campaign report