Joined the programme in 2014

As one of the great megacities of the world, Mexico City is in the clutches of a diabetes epidemic, and the first city to join the Cities Changing Diabetes programme.  

‘A City Solution’ depicts the diabetes and obesity situation in Mexico City and shows how the Cities Changing Diabetes programme in collaboration with the municipality helps to achieve better diagnosis, prevention, and treatment for patients. This short film was produced by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Production.

Mexico City's commitment to tackling the diabetes challenge is much needed in a country where almost half the population is believed to be living with undiagnosed diabetes.1 In the city, which has a diabetes prevalence of nearly 16%, there are an estimated 2.3 million adults living with diabetes2. This number is likely to rise as 34.7% of Mexico City’s adult population is living with obesity.3

Key facts and figures



million adults are living with diabetes in Mexico City2



of adults are living with obesity in Mexico City4

Research from Cities Changing Diabetes in Mexico City highlighted socioeconomic vulnerabilities and revealed that numerous barriers, including lack of resources and trust in institutions, can prevent engagement with healthcare services.


To make care more accessible, the partnership established a multidisciplinary diabetes clinic n the district of Iztapalapa, an underserved area of the city, and expanded an existing maternal health programme to reach individuals who are at risk for or who have diabetes (El Médico en Tu Casa). These efforts seek to improve the quality of care by addressing identified vulnerabilities, focusing efforts on health-promoting policy and strengthening the health system.


In 2016, Mexico City was one of six cities that called on governments worldwide to make health central to the 'New Urban Agenda' by focusing on preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), prioritising health in urban policies and employing new models of collaboration.


Improving interinstitutional collaboration

To achieve these goals within Mexico City, the Ministry of Health set up the Interinstitutional Commission under the broad umbrella of the Cities Changing Diabetes programme. Through three separate institutions related to diabetes prevention and management, this commission ensures that health is integrated into all policy decisions.


Through collaborative consultation, the commission has identified three workstreams:

  • Creating a strategic approach to the prevention of diabetes and obesity
  • Establishing a universal set of indicators and measurement parameters to be used by all institutions collecting data related to diabetes and obesity
  • Working with stakeholders outside the healthcare sector to improve recreational spaces and opportunities for physical exercise.

This new collaboration model will help ensure that the Cities Changing Diabetes programme is aligned with the government's goals to improve the city's 840 health units.


"We've managed to observe the importance of providing comprehensive care to the patients with diabetes through a multidisciplinary team, and this is also extended to the entire health sector, considering that this can only be achieved through training and resource training allocation, without and not forgetting the importance of promoting the change of habits among the population."

- Alberto Gallardo Hernández, Home Healthcare Attention subdirector, Public Healthcare Services of Mexico City.


Download Mexico City fact sheet

Download Mexico City case study


International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas 10th edition. 2021. Accessed March 2022.


Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Mexico City. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. 2017. Holte, Denmark.


Barquera S et al. Cities Changing Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus representative survey in the Federal District: Quantitative component. National Institute of Public Health, Mexico; 2015.


Barquera S. Cities Changing Diabetes. Survey of Diabetes Mellitus in Mexico City 2015 (ERDM-DF). 2015.