American Diabetes Association

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American Diabetes Association
Founded1939; 85 years ago (1939)
PurposeDiabetes advocacy

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a United States-based nonprofit that seeks to educate the public about diabetes and to help those affected by it through funding research to manage, cure and prevent diabetes, including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and pre-diabetes. It is a network of 565,000 volunteers which includes 20,000 healthcare professionals and administration staff members.[1]


The ADA was formally founded in 1939.[2][3] It was founded by six physicians − including Dr. Herman O. Mosenthal, Dr. Joseph T. Beardwood Jr., Dr. Joseph H. Barach, and Dr. E. S. Dillion − at their annual meeting of the American College of Physicians.[4]

Each year the ADA hosts Scientific Sessions, a meeting for diabetes professionals.[5] The ADA has nearly 20,000 members.

In the early 2000s, the ADA struck a three-year, $1.5 million sponsorship deal with Cadbury-Schweppes, the world's largest confectioner products including Diet-Rite sodas, Snapple unsweetened tea and Mott's Apple Sauce.

According to a 2006 New York Times article,[6] "critics say the A.D.A. affiliation has helped the candy maker pose as a concerned corporate citizen, even as it supplies grocery stores with sugary and fattening foods like Dr Pepper and the Cadbury Creme Egg." The article goes on to say, "The A.D.A. began rethinking how it raises money from companies, especially from those whose primary business is selling foods and beverages that are high in calories, even if they have created some sugar free items. The group has allowed some food company deals to expire and has turned down millions of dollars in new sponsorships."


The organization spends significant amounts on telemarketers including a contract with InfoCision, where telemarketers were instructed to lie to prospective donors that more of their donation was going toward the ADA than reality.[7][8][9]

The mostly highly compensated 20 individuals of the ADA received $5.3 million (an average of $266,000 each).

The Charity Navigator gave the ADA a 3-star overall rating, a 1-star financial rating and a 4-star accountability and transparency rating.[10]

Funded research[edit]

The ADA aims to give individuals with diabetes access to the care they need to optimize their health.[11] To work towards achieving this mission, the organization places effort into funding research projects that help minority groups navigate diabetes.[12][13] The ADA works with various colleges, local governments, and companies to promote healthy lifestyles.[14][15] They also fund research looking to control risk factors associated with diabetes, as seen in a recently published article discussing the role of microglia immune cells in diet-induced obesity.[16] 96% of ADA funded researchers remain dedicated to careers in diabetes science, every $1 the ADA invests in diabetes research leads to $12.47 in additional research funding.

Pay-to-play lawsuit[edit]

In 2023, Elizabeth Hanna, ex-chief nutritionist of the ADA, filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming that the organisation accepted corporate money in exchange for recommending recipes that could harm people with diabetes. Hanna alleged that she was fired for refusing to endorse high amounts of Splenda in salads; ADA's scientific journal indicated that artificial sweeteners may raise the risk of type-2 diabetes.[17][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who We Are | ADA". Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "Timeline". American Diabetes Association. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "American Diabetes Association". National Organization for Rare Diseases. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Striker, C (1956). Diabetes: Its Early Medical and Cultural History. New York, NY: Springer.
  5. ^ "American Diabetes Association". Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Santora, Marc (November 25, 2006). "In Diabetes Fight, Raising Cash and Keeping Trust". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "Charities Deceive Donors Unaware Money Goes to a Telemarketer". Bloomberg Markets. September 12, 2012. Archived from the original on March 5, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Deceptive Telemarketing Linked to Big Charities Chronicles of Philanthropy
  9. ^ Myers L (September 12, 2012). "Donors unaware charity money goes to telemarketer". NBC Today Show. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  10. ^ American Diabetes Association - Charity Navigator
  11. ^ "Impact Statement". American Diabetes Association - Stop Diabetes. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Kaltman S, Serrano A, Talisman N, Magee MF, Cabassa LJ, Pulgar-Vidal O, Peraza D (February 2016). "Type 2 Diabetes and Depression: A Pilot Trial of an Integrated Self-management Intervention for Latino Immigrants". The Diabetes Educator. 42 (1): 87–95. doi:10.1177/0145721715617536. PMID 26590385. S2CID 3271552.
  13. ^ Hasson RE, Adam TC, Pearson J, Davis JN, Spruijt-Metz D, Goran MI (2013). "Sociocultural and socioeconomic influences on type 2 diabetes risk in overweight/obese African-American and Latino-American children and adolescents". Journal of Obesity. 2013: 512914. doi:10.1155/2013/512914. PMC 3666294. PMID 23762538.
  14. ^ "American Diabetes Association Recognizes U.S. Companies and Organizations as New Health Champions". American Diabetes Association. July 21, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Fernhall B, Regensteiner JG, Blissmer BJ, Rubin RR, Chasan-Taber L, Albright AL, Braun B (December 2010). "Exercise and type 2 diabetes: the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement". Diabetes Care. 33 (12): e147–67. doi:10.2337/dc10-9990. PMC 2992225. PMID 21115758.
  16. ^ Valdearcos M, Douglass JD, Robblee MM, Dorfman MD, Stifler DR, Bennett ML, Gerritse I, Fasnacht R, Barres BA, Thaler JP, Koliwad SK (July 2017). "Microglial Inflammatory Signaling Orchestrates the Hypothalamic Immune Response to Dietary Excess and Mediates Obesity Susceptibility". Cell Metabolism. 26 (1): 185–197.e3. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2017.05.015. PMC 5569901. PMID 28683286.
  17. ^ Barsky, Neil (May 2, 2024). "Does the American Diabetes Association work for patients or companies? A lawsuit dared to ask". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  18. ^ "Ex-director accuses American Diabetes Association of 'pay to play' with sweetener Splenda". Reuters.

External links[edit]