Joined the programme in 2016

Rome joined the programme 2016 and has since developed a Cities Changing Diabetes Atlas and other assets that help push health-promoting policy development to the fore, through urban planning and community health.

ROME, ITALY - September  13, 2016: View on the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II - first king of a unified Italy in Rome, in Piazza Venezia

Since 1945, Rome has experienced significant demographic development and the population has more than doubled.1 Now the largest city in Italy, Rome is plagued by motor vehicle congestion and pollution, combined with increasing rates of obesity, lack of physical exercise and poor diet – all risks underlying the urban diabetes challenge. Additionally, the population is also aging, with 631,000 residents over the age of 65 as of 2015, adding to the pressure on the health care system.1

Reducing obesity: an opportunity for change in Rome
Without action, the increase of adult obesity in Rome will continue along current trends. However, if weight distribution were to remain at 2017 levels and we could reduce the rate of obesity by 25%, Rome would see 40,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes and save 138 million dollars in healthcare expenditure by 2045.2

Key facts and figures


most of children and teens are overweight or obese.3



More residents consider themselves physically inactive.4

Research conducted to assess the burden of diabetes in Rome is helping elevate urban diabetes to the top of the health agenda.

By revealing key sociocultural factors influencing diabetes, the findings can help identify barriers and opportunities for successful prevention, care and management. So far, the city has developed a Rome Cities Changing Diabetes Atlas, a manifesto and activities related to health-promoting policy, urban planning and community health.

"Urbanisation comes with both risks and opportunities. The Cities Changing Diabetes initiative provides an excellent frame to perform an analysis of social determinants and economic and environmental risk factors that have an impact on health."

 Roberto Pella, Vice President ANCI and Confederation Towns and Municipalities EU

Download Rome fact sheet

City of Rome, Roma Metropolitan City, Lazio Region, Italian Municipalities Association ANCI, Parliamentary Intergroup on Quality of Life in the Cities, European PublicHealth Association - Urban Health working group, Italian Healthy Cities Network, C14+, Health City Institute, National Institute for Health, Federsanità ANCI, Italian Barometer Diabetes Observatory Foundation, University of Roma Sapienza, University of Roma Tor Vergata, National Olympic Committee CONI, Danish Embassy in Rome, Italy, Centre for Social Studies and Policies (CENSIS  Foundation), National Institute of Statistics ISTAT, Institute for Competitiveness I-COM, Centre for Outcomes and Research and Clinical  Epidemiology, Italian Diabetes Society SID, Italian Diabetologists Association  AMD, Italian Society of General Practitioners SIMG, Italian Obesity Society SIO, Italian Endocrinology Society SIE, Italian Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology SIEDP, Italian Association of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition ADI, Italian Obesity Network IO NET, Fitwalking Association, Play4 Sport Italy, Active Citizenship Network (Cittadinanzattiva), Federdiabete Lazio.


Vaccaro K, Crialesi R, Nicolucci A, Corsaro L, Roma Cities Changing Diabetes. 2017.


Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Rome. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. In: Incentive, ed. Holte, Denmark. 2017.


Italian Institute for Statistics (ISTAT), 2015.


Italian Institute for Statistics (ISTAT). Primo Rapporto statistico sull’area metropolitana romana. 2016.