Health services around the world are being encouraged to develop systems to screen people at high risk for type 2 diabetes and measures to reduce progression to the disease in a global consensus statement on diabetes prevention from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) (1). After reviewing relevant research, the consensus group found growing evidence that earlier detection of people with impaired glucose tolerance and others at high risk, followed by interventions to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and improve glucose control, can achieve clinically important reductions in the incidence of diabetes and its complications and comorbidities. To identify those at high risk, the consensus recommends opportunistic screening by healthcare professionals, using a simple checklist for risk factors including age, waist circumference and family history. Plasma glucose should be measured in those found to be at high risk. People with impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose should then be prioritised for lifestyle interventions, including advice on weight management, healthy eating and regular physical activity, to prevent progression to type 2 diabetes. At a population level, the IDF consensus is recommending that governments develop national diabetes plans. These should include measures to encourage people to take regular, moderate exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Children should be encouraged to attain and maintain weight for height in the normal range.