Frequently Asked Questions

When does World Diabetes Day take place?

World Diabetes Day takes place on 14 November every year and is an official United Nations World Day. The date was chosen because it marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, who, along with Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin. While many events take place on or around the day itself, a themed campaign runs throughout the year.

How did it all begin?

World Diabetes Day was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991, in response to concern over the escalating incidence of diabetes around the world. Since then, the event has grown in popularity every year.

A United Nations World Day

World Diabetes Day is now an official United Nations World Day. On 20 December 2006, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 61/225, which designated the existing World Diabetes Day as an official world day beginning in 2007. This landmark resolution also recognized diabetes as “a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with major complications that pose severe risks for families, countries and the entire world.”

Where does it take place?

World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide. It brings together millions of people in over 160 countries to raise awareness of diabetes, including children and adults affected by diabetes, healthcare professionals, healthcare decision-makers and the media. Numerous local and national events are organized by the member associations of the International Diabetes Federation and by other diabetes representative organizations, healthcare professionals, healthcare authorities, and individuals who want to make a difference. World Diabetes Day unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness.

How is the day marked?

IDF member associations and partners develop an extensive range of activities, tailored to a variety of groups. Activities that are organized every year include:

  • Lighting buildings and monuments in blue – the colour of the diabetes circle
  • Walks and cycle rides
  • Radio and television programmes
  • Sports events
  • Free screenings for diabetes and its complications
  • Public information meetings
  • Poster and leaflet campaigns
  • Diabetes workshops and exhibitions
  • Press conferences
  • Newspaper and magazine articles
  • Events for children and adolescents
  • Activities and lessons in schools


Is there a theme?

The theme for World Diabetes Day from 2014 until and including 2016 is Healthy Living and Diabetes.