For some time now, international agencies have been warning about the rapid increases in the rates of diabetes and other chronic disease in Asian countries. Asia already accounts for a sizeable proportion of the world’s population with diabetes and the prevalence of diabetes in the region looks set to rise dramatically in the coming years. In addition, the age of onset of type 2 diabetes is moving downward. While the condition was historically diagnosed in people over age 65 years, nowadays type 2 diabetes in young adults is not unusual. Alarmingly, type 2 diabetes is now being diagnosed more frequently in adolescents and even young children. Tim Gill reports on this growing epidemic in Asia.