Pink is for breast cancer, red is for heart disease, purple for pancreatic cancer, and now, blue is for diabetes. I am glad diabetes is going to have a colored ribbon. If the ribbon can do for diabetes awareness what pink has done for breast cancer, it will be a good thing. At any rate, here is some information from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) as we begin November – Diabetes Awareness month:

  • New figures recently launched by the International Diabetes Federation indicate that the number of people living with diabetes has risen to 366 million.
  • Diabetes is responsible for 4.6 million deaths a year – 1 every 7 seconds.
  • Healthcare spending on diabetes has reached USD 465 billion.
  • Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of disability, resulting in devastating complications such as blindness and lower limb amputations.
  • All nations—rich and poor—are suffering the impact of the diabetes epidemic
  • Diabetes is undermining global development.
  • Diabetes hits the poorest hardest

The IDF wants us to GO BLUE FOR DIABETES!  Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Organize a Flash Mob: Abu Dhabi, Colombo, and Tel Aviv are the latest cities to join the World Diabetes Day Flash Mob Challenge. Visit our website to find out what it’s all about and watch our tutorial video for tips on what you can perform to promote the diabetes cause in your area.
  • Shine a blue light for diabetes: Cyprus, Finland, and Lebanon are the latest countries to confirm their participation in this year’s Blue Monument Challenge. See the complete list of participating monuments and keep on sending your confirmations to If you have a building that’s already going blue, take a picture and add it to our Flicker pool.
  • Take the Big Blue Test: Help get life-saving supplies to people with diabetes in need by doing 14 to 20 minutes of exercise this November. Find out how at
  • Form a human blue circle: Get together with your friends, family, and colleagues and help promote the global symbol of the fight against diabetes. View some examples to get inspired.
  • Blue Fridays: Don’t forget to wear blue for the diabetes cause every Friday in November.


The IDF highlights World Diabetes Day activities around the globe:

  • In Caracas, Venezuela, the diabetes association FENADIABETES will be organizing a Health Fair at the Parque Generalísimo Francisco de Miranda on 13 November. The event will feature different stands with educational talks, food tasting, screenings for diabetes, blood pressure and BMI, and physical activity demonstrations. On Monday the 14th, the Fountain in Plaza Venezuela will be lit in blue to mark World Diabetes Day.
  • In the Czech Republic, the local chapter of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), is organizing an event for World Diabetes Day in five cities in the country. The main aim is to promote screening of diabetes, raise awareness of the condition and work to prevent type 2 diabetes. In collaboration with health professionals, the medical students will measure blood glucose levels, blood pressure, BMI and the percentage of body fat and answer questions about diabetes. The main activity will take place in Prague’s St. Wenceslas’ Square, where diabetes-related artwork will be exhibited.
  • In Japan, the Japanese Association for Diabetes Education and Care (JADEC) will be marking World Diabetes Day 2011 with a range of awareness activities throughout the country. These include a marathon, free diabetes consultations, and the screening of a diabetes video in various locations. The highlight will be the blue lighting of close to 100 famous landmarks on 14 November, many of which will be broadcast live through local and national media.
  • In Portland, Oregon, USA, ‘Circle on the Court’ will kick off the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Week (PNDW) on 13 November. This diabetes health and wellness event will offer free health screenings, free sports clinics for kids, and opportunities to meet sports celebrities who are committed to raising awareness about diabetes. PNDW is an annual event designed to unite local diabetes communities in a collaborative effort to bring diabetes to light for an entire week.
  • In Taiwan, the Chinese Taipei Diabetes Association (CTDA) kicked off their World Diabetes Day activities on 1 November with a press conference in the capital Taipei. Other events planned in the run-up to 14 November include a Garden Festival, a diabetes awareness walk, a Monument Lighting Ceremony and a Carnival Parade in the southern city of Taitung. The latter will feature health professionals, people with diabetes and the general public getting together to promote the diabetes education and prevention messages of the campaign.
  • In Trinidad and Tobago, the Bovell Cancer Diabetes Foundation (BCDF) will help people on the island better understand the serious threat that diabetes poses to individuals, families, and communities by convening its third “Diabetes in the Limelight Jamboree”. This is an educational event that will include various diabetes educational and information booths, on-site glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure testing, vision testing, on-site doctors and dentists, nutrition education and a school children poster competition.


Follow the IDF World Diabetes Day campaign:

Visit for all campaign-related information and please continue to submit your short 2- to 10-second awareness videos on our participative video platform.

Go blue this November!


  1. So is this official? And where exactly does it say that it’s blue? Because in my search for the color for Diabetes awareness I keep getting either red, which I’m more familiar with, and grey.

  2. Light blue is the prostate cancer ribbon color and September is prostate cancer awareness month. I think one of the reasons why the breast cancer awareness movement has been so successful is the superb leadership of the Susan B Komen foundation. Although other diseases have foundations, colors and months, none have had the marketing genius of SBK.

  3. Pat,
    What color is prostate cancer? Per 100,000 women there are 124 cases of breast cancer diagnosed. In 100,000 men ther are 156 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed. In this same population 24 women die of breast cancer and 25 men die of prostate cancer. I’m all for pink shoes and ribbons and stuff like that to raise awareness of breast cancer. But what happened to the men? Is there a prostate cancer month? Is there a special color?


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