World Diabetes Day and American Diabetes Month

The number of people around the world affected by diabetes is increasing rapidly, and one in three children born in the United States in 2000 are predicted to develop diabetes in their lifetime. November is recognized by the American Diabetes Association as American Diabetes Month, and Nov. 14 is dedicated annually as World Diabetes Day.

World Diabetes Day ( was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to concerns about the escalating threat of diabetes worldwide. People celebrate the day by lighting iconic buildings around the globe in blue -- the color chosen to represent diabetes and World Diabetes Day -- to symbolize the world uniting for diabetes. In 2009, more than 1,000 buildings were lit in blue. To raise awareness of the problem of diabetes in Pennsylvania, several notable buildings across the state, including the State Capitol in Harrisburg, will be lit in blue this year.

Diabetes education and prevention is the World Diabetes Day theme: “The campaign calls on all those responsible for diabetes care to understand diabetes and take control. For people with diabetes, this is a message about empowerment through education. For governments, it is a call to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of their citizens with and at risk of diabetes. For health care professionals, it is a call to improve knowledge so that evidence-based recommendations are put into practice. For the general public it is a call to understand the serious impact of diabetes and know, where possible, how to avoid or delay diabetes and its complications."

In addition, as the American Diabetes Association designates November as American Diabetes Month®, the organization strives to recognize the month as, “a time to shine a spotlight on a serious disease that leads to potentially life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.”

Find more information on diabetes at the Penn State Hershey Diabetes and Obesity Institute website: The site lists helpful websites, information on diabetes-related research and information on how to receive a free copy of the Penn State Diabetes Playbook. The Diabetes Playbook is an easy way to help those with diabetes keep track of their diabetes care. Not only does the book offer tips on how to manage diabetes from people who treat diabetes, it offers tips from people who live with diabetes every day. Free copies can be ordered online at

Other ways Penn State Hershey Diabetes and Obesity is celebrating World Diabetes Day and American Diabetes Month include the Diabetes and Obesity Research Forum, which was held on Nov. 10 at the University Conference Center on the campus of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and the 11th annual Diabetes Symposium on Nov. 13 at The Hershey Hotel.


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Last Updated November 11, 2010