The prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a target priority for the WHO and the United Nations and is a key priority in the 2018 Berlin Declaration, which is a global call for early actions related to T2DM. Health-care policies advocate that individuals at high risk of developing T2DM undertake lifestyle modification, irrespective of whether the prediabetes phenotype is defined by hyperglycaemia in the postprandial state (impaired glucose tolerance) and/or fasting state (impaired fasting glucose) or by intermediate HbA1c levels. However, current evidence indicates that diabetes prevention programmes based on lifestyle change have not been successful in preventing T2DM in individuals with isolated impaired fasting glucose. We propose that further research is needed to identify effective lifestyle interventions for individuals with isolated impaired fasting glucose. Furthermore, we call for the identification of innovative approaches that better identify people with impaired glucose tolerance, who benefit from the currently available lifestyle-based diabetes prevention programmes.