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World Diabetes Day

On November 14 each year, World Diabetes Day aims to increase an awareness of the effects of diabetes and the complications caused by the disease.

Woman eating
Healthy eating helps prevent or delay the development of diabetes.
Healthy eating helps prevent or delay the development of diabetes.
©iStockphoto.com/webphotographeer

What Do People Do?

The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations around the world, including the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes UK, Diabetes Australia, the Canadian Diabetes Association, Diabetes South Africa, Diabetes New Zealand and the Diabetic Association of India. These organizations arrange events at international, national and local levels.

Events include:

  • Conferences, workshops and seminars for health and public policy professionals.
  • The distribution of information to encourage at risk individuals to be screened for diabetes.
  • Events to highlight diabetes in local and national media, including television, newspapers and Internet publications
  • The World Diabetes Day bike races to increase awareness of diabetes.
  • The distribution of geocoins for use in geocaching (a game for global positioning systems users).

Civil leaders around the world issue proclamations on World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of diabetes in their communities. Many events aim to raise money for research into treatments for diabetes.

Public Life

World Diabetes Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Diabetes is the common name for a range of conditions including diabetes mellitus type one and diabetes mellitus type two, diabetes insipidus and gestational diabetes. These are all conditions, which affect how the pancreas (an organ in the digestive system) secretes insulin or how the body reacts to this hormone. Depending on the type and severity, diabetes is controlled by dietary measures, weight loss, oral medication or injected or inhaled insulin. There is a wide range of short and long-term complications of diabetes including foot and eye problems and vascular diseases. It is estimated that one in three residents of the United States will develop diabetes at some point in their life.

On December 20, 2006, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution to designate November 14 as World Diabetes Day. The occasion aimed to raise awareness of diabetes, its prevention and complications and the care that people with the condition need. Governments, non-governmental organizations and private businesses are encouraged to increase awareness of the disease, particularly among the general population and the media. World Diabetes Day was first commemorated on November 14, 2007, and is observed annually.

Symbols

The official UN symbol for diabetes is a simple ring in the same shade of blue as is used on the United Nations Flag and many other United Nations symbols, also known as "Pantone 279". The inner diameter of the ring is 70 percent of the outer diameter. The ring is used in combination with the slogan "unite for diabetes", where the letters "U" and "N" of the word "unite" are also in UN blue color and the other letters are in black. The ring symbol was chosen because it is easy to display and could even be painted on a wall or home-made banner. In addition, it occurs widely in nature and has been used in many cultures to symbolize unity, life, the globe and health.

World Diabetes Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010SunNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2011MonNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2012WedNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2013ThuNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2014FriNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2015SatNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2016MonNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2017TueNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2018WedNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2019ThuNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance
2020SatNov 14World Diabetes DayUnited Nations observance

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