Over the last few decades, numerous public health agencies and other private and public organizations have sought to prevent and delay the disabling complications of diabetes by increasing the use of preventive care practices and reducing risk factors for complications among people with diabetes. Now, federal diabetes surveillance activities are yielding encouraging reports that progress is being made in increasing the use of preventive care practices, reducing risk factors for complications, and preventing or delaying diabetes complications. However, although several gains have been noted, levels of preventive care practices remain suboptimal, risk factors for diabetes complications are too prevalent, and diabetes complications are too pervasive. Furthermore, with compelling evidence that the onset of diabetes can be prevented or delayed among adults at high risk, prevention of diabetes has become a major new challenge. Additional efforts are needed to address the growing problems of obesity and physical inactivity, to identify the most efficacious and cost-effective prevention strategies and interventions, and to implement surveillance activities that allow us to gauge our success. Although progress has been made against diabetes complications, the current epidemic of diabetes increases the urgency of primary prevention efforts.