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It is certainly very appropriate that the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group has seen fit to honour Peter Bennett’s contribution to diabetes epidemiology with the key lecture at its tri-annual conference being in his name. Similarly, the ADA, starting in 1984, instigated the Kelly West Award for epidemiology.

Our early studies in Nauru and other Pacific countries enabled us to confidentially predict the diabetes epidemic that has now evolved (13). Not a key diabetes journal issue goes by without a prevalence report of diabetes and abnormal glucose tolerance from some population in the world. Most studies now do follow a standardised protocol (14) making them much more comparable with data from other countries and regions.