World Diabetes Day is celebrated each year on November 14th.
It was first introduced in 1991 and founded by both the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization. In reaction to the rise in cases of Diabetes worldwide, it was decided to choose a day of the year to raise awareness of Diabetes and related causes.
The day chosen was the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, a medical scientist who co-discovered Insulin and was the first person to use it on humans.
The theme of World Diabetes Day regularly changes. For example, the theme for the day between 2009 and 2013 was education and prevention, and in the past, such themes have been used such as human rights, lifestyle, obesity, the disadvantaged and vulnerable, and children/teenagers. Various events around the world mark the day including raising awareness in the media, lectures and conferences, sporting events, and leaflet/poster campaigning. “Going blue” is another global event to mark the day, where people wear blue and landmark buildings and monuments around the world are lit up in blue, to help spread awareness of the day.
WHY WORLD DIABETES DAY IS IMPORTANT
It draws attention to the diabetes epidemic
Over a 25 year span (from 1988 to 2013) diabetes diagnoses increased roughly 380%. And these diagnoses are dangerous—by the year 2030, the World Health Organization predicts diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in the world. This condition demands attention—and that’s why having a whole day dedicated to it is crucial.
Type II diabetes can be avoided
World Diabetes Day serves as a reminder to live our lives more healthfully. Type II diabetes can be limited through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining a normal weight. Tobacco use exacerbates type II diabetes as well and is best avoided.
It’s a reminder to be educated about diabetes
Type II diabetes has grown to epidemic proportions, but type I diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is just as serious a health threat. Approximately 1.25 million Americans are diagnosed with type I diabetes, but the cause of the disease is unknown. However, the health effects are just as devastating as type II diabetes. World Diabetes Day serves as a reminder to know the symptoms of diabetes, get tested, and get treatment.