Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common chronic (ongoing) conditions in Australia.  There is also growing evidence that farmers have high rates of diabetes or prediabetes.

Approximately 1 million Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes. The prevalence of particularly type 2 diabetes, rises with age and is higher in men than in women. There is also growing evidence that farmers have high rates of diabetes or prediabetes.

Diabetes is when the levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood is too high.  This happens because your pancreas is no longer producing enough insulin to process the sugar, or your body is no longer able to use insulin properly.  In most cases diabetes type 2 can be prevented through diet and exercise.

Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for diabetes. Try to build some regular activity into your daily routine, take a walk instead of using the ute or the quad bike.

To see if you might be at risk of diabetes, take the Risk test

It only takes a few minutes.

Often farmers are very busy and put off taking care of their health.  Living in rural and remote communities may involve long distance travel to access health services a doctor or dieticianThere are online and phone services that are confidential and will help support you to manage your health and reduce your risk of diabetes. Read more about preventing diabetes at Diabetes Australia

References used for this topic page

Fast facts:


  • Diabetes is common and very serious condition, but it can often be prevented.
  • Make the time to exercise and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes; manage your weight to manage your health. Make sure you build some activity into your daily routine.
  • Living a long way out of town can make access to fresh food difficult. Start a vegie garden and grow some of your own healthy food.

Last updated: 5th December, 2016