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What color ribbon is juvenile diabetes?

Juvenile diabetes, also known as type 1 diabetes, is represented by the blue circle symbol. The blue circle is the globally recognized symbol for type 1 diabetes and is used to promote diabetes awareness and convey the unity of the worldwide type 1 diabetes community. The blue color was chosen because it represents the color of the sky and hope.


Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter cells to produce energy. In type 1 diabetes, the lack of insulin causes a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and young adults, but it can develop at any age. That’s why it was formerly called juvenile diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 5-10% of all diabetes cases. The other main type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90-95% of diabetes cases. In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with older age, obesity, family history, physical inactivity, and poor diet. It used to be called adult-onset diabetes because it occurred mainly in adults, but now more children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The Blue Circle Symbol

In 2007, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launched an international symbol for diabetes: a blue circle. The blue circle was adopted as the global symbol for diabetes awareness in response to the rapid rise of diabetes around the world.

The blue circle symbol represents the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic. It signifies the unity of the worldwide diabetes community in pursuit of its goals to increase diabetes awareness, promote diabetes education, improve diabetes care, and ultimately find a cure for diabetes of all types.

The color blue was chosen because it represents the color of the sky and the hope for a brighter future for all people affected by diabetes. Blue is associated with openness, wisdom, and health. The circle shape signifies life and health without beginning or end.

The blue circle logo is often coupled with the words “diabetes” or “unites for diabetes.” It can be used by itself or incorporated into other logos used by diabetes organizations and events. For example:

Blue circle diabetes logo

The Blue Circle and Type 1 Diabetes

While the blue circle is the global symbol for all types of diabetes, it has come to be strongly associated with type 1 diabetes specifically. This is because many major type 1 diabetes organizations have adopted the blue circle symbol to represent their cause.

For example, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), one of the leading foundations funding type 1 diabetes research, uses the blue circle symbol prominently. JDRF sponsors annual fundraising walks where participants wear blue circle t-shirts to demonstrate their support.

Other type 1 diabetes organizations like DiabetesSisters, College Diabetes Network, and T1International also integrate the blue circle into their logos and materials. So at many type 1 diabetes events and fundraisers, you will see attendees wearing blue circle apparel and accessories.

Blue Circle Ribbon

One way the blue circle symbol is displayed is through blue circle ribbons. The blue ribbon is used to raise awareness about many health conditions. The blue circle ribbon specifically represents type 1 diabetes awareness and advocacy.

Blue circle ribbon

Blue circle ribbons are commonly worn leading up to and on World Diabetes Day on November 14. This day was created by IDF to bring awareness and promote action around the diabetes epidemic. People will wear the ribbons to show support for those living with type 1 diabetes.

The blue circle ribbon can be worn or displayed year-round to spread awareness. Parents of children with type 1 diabetes often wear them daily. People may also display blue circle ribbons at fundraising walks and events for type 1 diabetes like JDRF One Walk.

Why the Blue Circle for Type 1 Diabetes?

The blue circle symbol was designated for all types of diabetes, but it has been embraced especially by the type 1 diabetes community. Here are some of the key reasons why:

  • Blue is the color of the sky and hope, which resonates with the type 1 community’s goal to find a cure.
  • The circle shape denotes unity which is meaningful to the tight-knit T1D community.
  • Major T1D organizations like JDRF integrated the symbol into their branding.
  • The blue circle stands out and is eye-catching compared to other colored ribbons.
  • Blue is associated with openness and wisdom, traits valued in the T1D community.
  • People want a unique symbol to represent the autoimmune nature of type 1 diabetes.

The type 1 diabetes community rallied around the blue circle because they felt it was a compelling symbol to build awareness and convey that type 1 diabetes is an urgent and distinct health condition requiring more research support and funding.

Using the Blue Circle Symbol

The blue circle can be used freely to promote global diabetes awareness. However, the IDF provides some guidance around proper usage of the blue circle symbol:

  • The blue circle should not be altered or distorted in any way.
  • It should be reproduced in the official IDF blue color (PMS 287).
  • It should not be used for commercial purposes without permission.
  • It can be used with the words “diabetes” or “unites for diabetes.”

When using the blue circle symbol, keep in mind that it represents all types of diabetes. Make sure not to imply that it only relates to type 1 diabetes unless in a context where that is clear.

Other Diabetes Awareness Colors and Symbols

While the blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes, other colors and symbols are used to promote awareness of specific types of diabetes:

Gray Ribbon – Gestational Diabetes

The gray ribbon represents gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women who did not previously have diabetes.

Red Bracelet – Diabetes

The red bracelet can represent diabetes in general or diabetes awareness. Red reflects the importance of diabetes care.

Orange Shoe – Diabetes

The orange colored shoe represents all types of diabetes.

Blue Shoe – Diabetes

The blue colored shoe specifically represents type 1 diabetes.

Green Ribbon – Pre-diabetes

The green ribbon represents pre-diabetes, a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet diabetic levels.


The blue circle is the global symbol adopted by the International Diabetes Federation to unite the worldwide diabetes community. While representing all forms of diabetes, the blue circle has become closely associated with type 1 diabetes awareness and advocacy.

The blue circle and blue ribbon stand for hope, openness, wisdom, and unity in the fight against type 1 diabetes. Organizations and individuals display the blue circle proudly at events and in everyday life to promote understanding, inspire advocacy, and move closer toward a cure.