Novo Nordisk launches "Cities Changing Diabetes" to fight urban diabetes

BAGSVAERD, Denmark — Novo Nordisk on Friday launched "Cities Changing Diabetes," a new partnership program to fight the urban diabetes challenge. The "Cities Changing Diabetes"program will first be launched in Mexico City, with other cities in North America, Europe and Asia soon to follow.

"The global diabetes epidemic is an emergency in slow motion," stated Lars Rebien Sørensen, CEO Novo Nordisk. "While there are many factors fueling the growth trajectory of diabetes, the most striking contributor is urbanization and the growth of cities. The ‘Cities Changing Diabetes’ program is our call to arms for people around the world to work together to tackle this for the long-term."

The aim of the program is to map the problem, share solutions and drive action to fight the diabetes challenge in the big cities around the world. The program will be developed in partnership with University College London and supported by Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark, an institution specializing in diabetes care and prevention, as well as a range of local partners, including healthcare professionals, city authorities, urban planners, businesses, academics and community leaders, for example.

During 2014, the partners will work together to better understand the diabetes challenge in cities in order to identify the actions needed to tackle it. Following the initial discovery phase, Novo Nordisk and its partners, with the help of policymakers, health authorities, the private sector and the volunteer sector, will announce action plans for each of the cities that will be part of the program.

"We have implemented large-scale initiatives to fight overweight, obesity and diabetes, and we are starting to see the results," said Armando Ahued Ortega, the minister of health of Mexico City. "However, diabetes continues to constitute a heavy burden for the city’s health services. I look forward to seeing the results from the research phase initiated today, as they will provide a solid foundation for developing an integrated response to tackle this public health emergency. I am very proud of Mexico City taking the global lead to fight urban diabetes."

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