Forty New Zealanders are diagnosed with diabetes every day, often facing a lifelong battle to cope with the debilitating disease, a support group has warned ahead of Diabetes Action Month.
Diabetes New Zealand said more than 260,000 people now had diabetes in the country as the diseases' prevalence has doubled in the past 10 years.
DNZ chief executive Steve Crew said those with diabetes often needed a lot of help to cope, with one-third of sufferers recently surveyed by the group mentally affected by their condition.
"It is not only a drain on our health system, it is incredibly life-changing and life-limiting for people living with diabetes and that can lead to stress and anxiety and poor self-care," he said.
"Living well is something people with diabetes battle to do on their own.
"A third struggle with eating healthy meals, and almost 40 percent struggle to be motivated and do physical activity. Diabetes New Zealand wants to change that."
To mark Diabetes Action month, the support group on Tuesday launched a Take Control Toolkit.
It contains more than 60 downloadable documents and videos offering nutrition, health and wellbeing and physical activity advice.