The global prevalence is estimated at over 143 million in 1995, 154 million in 2000 and by 2025 the diabetic population is expected to rise to 300 million, an increase of approximately 120% . Today, diabetes is a disease of the poor. We have reported an i ncreased prevalence of 400% in the urban slums compared to its source population in the rural areas without any increment in obesity. As the "Times"states "WHEN the world was a simpler place, the rich were fat, the poor were thin, and right-thinking peopl e worried about how to feed the hungry. Now, in much of the world, the rich are thin, the poor are fat, and right-thinking people are worrying about obesity." WHO world report 2001 indicated 59% of the reported global deaths account for non communicable d iseases and that obesity is a larger problem compared to malnutrition, also in the developing countries other than sub-sharan Africa. South Asian immigrants in Europe have particularly high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the Governmenta l "Green Book on Public Health" prevention of T2DM in the immigrant populations was one of the prioritised issues concerning social inequalities in health in Norway (1). T2DM is considered as an outcome of genetic predisposition combined with lifestyle fa ctors. Therefore, we have built up an international Network of researchers to address the issues of genetic susceptibility and environmental influences both for the development of T2DM and its prevention. Immigrants in Europe provide a unique opportunity to examine the issue, by comparing for example ethnic Norwegians against ethnic Pakistanis living in Oslo. Further Pakistanis in Oslo may be compared against the Pakistanis in Pakistan (source population) to observe the interaction between gene and enviro nment in different settings. Our European/international research consortium (IMMIDIAB) is supported with an EU grant (FP6-504839). We have 7 European countries, 4 Asian and one African country in our network.