World Diabetes Day 2021

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Access to healthy food and nutrition education are key to diabetes care and prevention!

A digital campaign by the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) on World Diabetes Day 2021

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) is supporting the World Diabetes Day (WDD) for a tenth consecutive year, joining the call to action by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to raise awareness of diabetes and the need for greater “Access to Diabetes Care” around the world1.

This year, the ISA is running a digital campaign playing its part in sharing the WDD 2021 campaign messages aiming to ensure that everyone living with diabetes can access the care they need. The key objective for this year’s ISA digital campaign is to raise awareness that access to healthy food, nutrition education and care are fundamental components of diabetes prevention and care.

In developing the ISA activities around WDD 2021, the ISA has the scientific support of the European Specialist Dietetic Network (ESDN) for Diabetes of the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD).

This year’s ISA campaign is further endorsed by the Brazilian diabetes association2 (ANAD), the Brazilian Federation of Diabetes’ Organisations3 (FENAD), the Brazilian Association of Diabetes Educators4 (ANBED), the Brazilian Society for Food and Nutrition5 (SBAN), the Mexican Diabetes Federation6 (FMD), and the Colombian Diabetology Federation7 (FDC).

About the ISA digital campaign for WDD 2021

The ISA online materials for WDD 2021 focus on the nutrition aspect of diabetes care, and the need to ensure that people living with diabetes have also access to healthy food, nutrition education and care. All are fundamental components of diabetes care and prevention.

The digital materials of the ISA campaign include a series of engaging animated videos as well as video interviews with EFAD’s ESDN Diabetes experts, which all aim to help raise awareness of diabetes and the need for greater access to care, including nutrition care, around the world.

We invite you to watch below a compilation of the videos developed for World Diabetes Day 2021, to find out more about why it is important to ensure access to healthy food and nutrition education and care for all people living with diabetes.

Access to healthy food and nutrition education and care means…

For people living with diabetes, access to healthy food8,9 includes:

  1. Daily intake of vegetables and fruit
  2. Choosing whole grains in meals
  3. Affording low-fat protein foods such as fish, poultry, nuts and legumes
  4. Eating healthy fats such as from olive oil, nuts, avocado, and less red and processed meat
  5. Accessibility to foods and beverages that are low in sugar, including products with low/no calorie sweeteners


Nutrition education, counselling and care is recommended for all people living with diabetes and prediabetes
.9  However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” eating plan. Nutritional guidelines recommend an individualised approach that considers the person’s personal and cultural eating preferences.8 Access to nutrition care that works towards improving or maintaining glycaemic targets, achieving weight management goals, and improving cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., blood pressure, blood lipids, etc.) within individualised treatment goals is needed for all people living with diabetes.

We invite you to watch below all the video interviews of EFAD’s ESDN Diabetes experts that were developed for WDD 2021. Dr Zoe Pafili, RD, PhD, Clinical Dietitian (Greece), Marina Armellini, Dietitian (Italy), Dr Maria Vasiloglou M(Med)Sc, PhD, Dietitian-Nutritionist (Switzerland), Dr Haris Dimosthenopoulos, MMedSci., PhD, Clinical Dietitian (Greece) and lead of EFAD’s ESDN for Diabetes,  explain what access to healthy food and nutrition education and care means for people living with diabetes.

Low/no calorie sweeteners in diabetes

Low/no calorie sweeteners offer people with diabetes broader food choices by providing the pleasure of sweet taste without affecting blood glucose control.10

Studies show that unlike carbohydrates, low/no calorie sweeteners do not raise blood sugar level,11,12 and that people with diabetes can use them safely. This finding has been further endorsed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which authorised the health claim that low/no calorie sweeteners used as a replacement for sugars induce a lower blood sugar rise after consumption compared to sugar-containing foods and drinks.13

For more scientific information about the benefits of low/no calorie sweeteners for people living with diabetes, we invite you to read the dedicated ISA website page here. For a snapshot of this information, you may also download the infographic about “Low calorie sweeteners in diabetes”, which is available by clicking here.

About World Diabetes Day 2021-2023

In 2021, WDD is marked by the 100-year centenary of the discovery of insulin. A century after its discovery, millions of people with diabetes around the world still cannot access the care they need. This anniversary presents a unique opportunity to bring about meaningful change for the more than 460 million people living with diabetes and the millions more at risk. Therefore, the theme of the three-year IDF’s campaign for WDD 2021-23 is “Access to Diabetes Care1. IDF urges us all to ask ourselves: If not now, when?

Access to diabetes care involves several key aspects. Fundamental components of diabetes care include:

  • Access to insulin
  • Access to oral medicines
  • Access to self-monitoring
  • Access to education and psychological support
  • Access to healthy food and a safe place to exercise 


More information about diabetes awareness month and World Diabetes Day 2021 is available on the official WDD website by clicking here.

Follow the ISA digital campaign for #WDD2021!

Stay tuned on ISA social media profiles to find out more about diabetes and advance your level of knowledge on what can be done to prevent or manage diabetes!

Don’t forget to use the dedicated hashtags #ISA4WDD, #WorldDiabetesDay #WDD2021, #IfNotNowWhen, and to follow @SweetenersAndU, our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, as well as to subscribe to the ISA YouTube channel!

  1. World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2021. Available at: https://worlddiabetesday.org/
  2. Associação Nacional de Atenção ao Diabetes 
  3. Federação Nacional de Associações e Entitades de Diabetes
  4. Associação Nacional Brasileira de Educadores em Diabetes
  5. Sociedade Brasileira de Alimentação e Nutrição
  6. Federación Mexicana de Diabetes
  7. Federación Diabetológica Colombiana
  8. Diabetes UK. Evidence-based nutrition guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes. March 2018. Available online: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/professionals/position-statements-reports/food-nutrition-lifestyle/evidence-based-nutrition-guidelines-for-the-prevention-and-management-of-diabetes
  9. Evert AB, et al. Nutrition Therapy for Adults with Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report. Diabetes Care. 2019 May;42(5):731-754
  10. Diabetes UK. The use of low or no calorie sweeteners. Position Statement (Updated December 2018). Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/professionals/position-statements-reports/food-nutrition-lifestyle/use-of-low-or-no-calorie-sweetners
  11. Nichol AD, Holle MJ, An R. Glycemic impact of non-nutritive sweeteners: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr 2018; 72: 796-804
  12. Greyling A, Appleton KM, Raben A, Mela DJ. Acute glycemic and insulinemic effects of low-energy sweeteners: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2020; 112(4): 1002-1014
  13. EFSA Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to intense sweeteners. EFSA 2011 Journal 9(6): 2229, and 9(4): 2076