Joined the programme in 2019

Launched in 2019, the Cities Changing Diabetes programme in Warsaw is committed to promoting actions and interventions to create a healthier urban environment for its citizens. Warsaw prioritises efforts to prevent obesity and diabetes among the city’s young residents. This will involve systemic changes to the school system to raise awareness of obesity and diabetes in the city.

Warsaw, Castle square, Capital of Poland

In Warsaw, as in Poland more generally, the number of people with type 2 diabetes has been increasing significantly. One of the main challenges that arises is the fact that many individuals have very limited knowledge about the disease.


In Warsaw, between 20 to 30% of children are overweight and present therefore a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in their adulthood. As a result, education has been identified as an area of focus to reduce incidence. This includes weight loss programs, teaching better eating habits, and encouraging healthier, more active lifestyles. Educational activities should be undertaken at an early age, as obesity has noticeably increased amongst pre-schoolers in Poland. 

The diabetes challenge in Milan



of adults in Poland are living with diabetes1

20 - 30%


of children are overweight in Warsaw2

Prioritising early intervention in local schools

Experts from Cities Changing Diabetes in Poland collaborated with researchers from Lazarski University to compile a report titled Schools, communities, systems – Partnership against the epidemic of obesity and diabetes (read the report here). The report explores the health, attitudes and behaviours of Polish students and teachers in the context of obesity and diabetes.


The report outlines the clinical and social aspects of diabetes, synthesises the history of obesity and type 2 diabetes and reviews secondary research on the health and lifestyles of Polish students. It also provides the findings of a survey conducted among 4,200 primary school teachers in Warsaw and Krakow.The survey explored the level of knowledge that these teachers have about diabetes, their experiences teaching students with type 1 diabetes, and their subjective assessments of body weight and lifestyle.


The report includes recommendations about possible interventions. The Cities Changing Diabetes team in Warsaw will support local authorities in planning and implementing interventions to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents. These solutions will potentially be used as models for local interventions across Poland.


"There is no doubt that the Cities Changing Diabetes programme is a timely initiative in Poland. The great advantage of the programme is the possibility of adapting its activities to the specificity of our country, which is of particular concern to the Cities Changing Diabetes Scientific Council. We have taken a long-term decision to concentrate the activities on the community of children and schoolchildren; hence, the first step in Poland was to investigate the knowledge and pro-health attitudes of teachers as a group educating pupils."

— Professor Leszek Czupryniak, MD, Head of the Department of Diabetology and Internal of the Medical University of Warsaw



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


Stalmach M.: Polskie badania populacyjne u dzieci, młodzieży i młodych dorosłych:COSI – Childhood Obesity Surveilance Initiative – 8-latki w badaniu WHO. Konferencja „Czy to już epidemia otyłości w Polsce? Dynamika nadwagi i otyłości w cyklu życia – wyniki polskich badań populacyjnych u dzieci, młodzieży i młodych dorosłych”, Instytut Matki i Dziecka i Instytut Kardiologii im. Prymasa Tysiąclecia Stefana Kardynała Wyszyńskiego, Warszawa; 2018.