Joined the programme in 2020

The partners of Cities Changing Diabetes in Berlin have set themselves the goal of initiating a project that can be easily implemented in a municipal setting and rolled out in other German cities or even internationally.

Blick vom Kienberg über Berlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf Richtung Fernsehturm

Situated on the north-eastern edge of Berlin, the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, which has a population of around 270,000, will face many challenges in the future, particularly in the area of healthcare. Like most outlying districts, Marzahn-Hellersdorf has a higher prevalence than districts in the city centre. In some areas the prevalence is over 20%.1



Key facts and figures



In some areas of Marzahn-Hellersdorf diabetes prevalence is over 20%1



On average, 11% of children in Berlin are living with obesity in Berlin2

The partners have committed to jointly develop timely actions and activities to address diabetes, obesity and CVD issues in the borough. The focus of Cities Changing Diabetes activities is on prevention, improving diabetes care and raising awareness of diabetes, obesity and CVD in Berlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf.


To develop suitable joint interventions, the first joint step was to conduct an epidemiological study as part of a Rule of Halves analysis to closely examine the diabetes situation in the district. The aim was to find out where the target groups at risk are and how the appropriate projects can be set up.


Promoting a physically active city 

The first major joint prevention project was the 30x30 Challenge in 2021, which was a physical activity campaign based on an app that recorded participants' minutes of physical activity. This month-long campaign encouraged residents to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity every day.  The popular and effective campaign achieved what many physical activity campaigns fail to do – increase physical activity in the relevant target group. The challenge, promoted via a successful social media campaign, attracted 6,842 participants who collectively logged 270 million steps. Of those who participated in the challenge, 85% committed to engaging in more physical activity following the challenge, and 90% said they would be keen to repeat the challenge.  


Working to reach vulnerable residents 

Cities Changing Diabetes in Berlin works to reach more of the city's vulnerable residents through a conveniently located district health kiosk. The kiosk will provide residents access to care areas, including nutrition, exercise and counselling. Residents will be offered information on diabetes and obesity and advice regarding exercise and nutrition. The kiosk will also be used to pilot primary and secondary prevention measures for type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The programme will undergo statistical monitoring and evaluation.  


“We need an awareness that diabetes is an issue we all face together. It is time to act! We have enough think tanks, we now finally need a do tank.”

— Dr. Christian Toussaint (internist and diabetologist, Berlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf)


Download Berlin action case


DOI Online-Publikation: 16.2.2017 Gesundheitswesen 2018; 80 (Suppl 2): S64–S70 © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York 


Gesundheitsberichterstattung Berlin. Grundauswertung der Einschulungsdaten in Berlin 2017. 2017: 159