According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, an estimated 420 million adults are diabetes.
It also states that the number has been increasing steadily over the last three decades.
According to its Global Report on Diabetes, the international organisation noted that the prevalence of adult diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980.
The UN health agency, therefore, called on people to “eat healthily, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain”.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, which leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood.
The global health body said: “Around 1.6 million deaths can be directly attributed to diabetes each year.
“Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation”.
WHO Spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, said the prevalence of diabetes was largely due to changes in lifestyle.
“We are eating more heavy foods, full of fat and sugar; we are less physically active; and we have a more sedentary way of living.”
As one of the leading causes of death globally, diabetes is a major public health problem, one of four priority non-communicable diseases targeted for action by world leaders, according to WHO.
In its report, WHO called on governments to “ensure that people are able to make healthy choices and that health systems are able to diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes.