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On World Diabetes Day, Vital Strategies Urges Governments To Accelerate Work to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Effective policies include taxing sugary drinks and junk foods; adopting clear nutrition labels; and running media campaigns to support these measures

 (New York, USA) – Vital Strategies today joins the international health community in calling on governments to do more to support policies to reduce diabetes, a rapidly growing global epidemic, particularly among women.

“Today, over two billion people across the world are overweight or obese. Obesity and poor diet are major drivers of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes,’ said Vital Strategies President and Chief Executive Officer, José Luis Castro. ‘We support the International Diabetes Federation’s call for more affordable and equitable access to medicines and technologies, education and information for those living with or at risk for diabetes.

“The Global Burden of Disease study shows that diabetes and related disorders were the fifth most common cause of death in 2016, having been the eighth most common cause of death in 1990. As WHO noted in its Global Report on Diabetes published last year, the prevalence of diabetes has increased in countries at all income levels over the past three decades, mirroring the global increase in the number of people who are overweight or obese, but over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low- and middle-income countries.

“The harm is felt by individuals and families directly impacted by the disease, and health systems and economies burdened by the financial costs of treatment and lost productivity. The time to act is now and Vital Strategies is proud to support our partners around the world in catalyzing that action.”

Vital Strategies has provided technical assistance to cities and countries around the world to build support for tobacco control and obesity prevention policies. Our mass media campaigns have been seen by more than two billion people in over 30 countries. In addition, we have supported obesity prevention campaigns in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and South Africa. These strategic mass media campaigns are designed to build support for taxes on sugary beverages, bans on junk food marketing that targets children, and clear nutritional labelling.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit or Twitter at @VitalStrat.