The Report on the Status of Nutrition and Chronic Diseases of Chinese residents (2015) indicated that the prevalence of diabetes was 9.7% among adults aged ≥ 18 years, which markedly increased from 2.6% in 2002 within 10 years. In addition to the social economic factors, transitions in food consumption, behavioral and lifestyle playing the important roles in the fast increase of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In 2010-2012, the cereal food consumption of Chinese residents was 337 g/d, vegetables consumption 269 g/d, fruit consumption 41 g/d, legume and legume products 11 g/d, dairy and dairy products consumption 25 g/d, meat consumption 90 g/d, edible oil consumption 42 g/d and dietary fiber 10.8 g/d. The traditional Chinese dietary pattern (high consumption of rice, pork and vegetables) is shifting towards a dietary pattern with high consumption of meats and edible oil but low consumption of cereals and vegetables. Smoking, breakfast omitting and high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages became popular. Insufficient physical activity rate was 31.7%. Less sleep duration and poorer sleep quality was also common for Chinese residents. Concerning early life factors, residents exposed to the Chinese famine (1959-1961) during fetal life and childhood had an increased risk of hyperglycemia. As a conclusion, current unhealthy lifestyle has inversely effect on the incidence and development of T2DM, especially for the increased intake of fat and carbohydrate, the transition of dietary pattern, the extension of sedentary time and the increasing rate of obesity. Lifestyle management should be taken seriously as a part of diabetes prevention.