China has a large burden of diabetes: in 2013, one in four people with diabetes worldwide were in China, where 11·6% of adults had diabetes and 50·1% had prediabetes. Many were undiagnosed, untreated, or uncontrolled. This epidemic is the result of rapid societal transition that has led to an obesogenic environment against a backdrop of traditional lifestyle and periods of famine, which together puts Chinese people at high risk of diabetes and multiple morbidities.