Size Acceptance Organization Denounces "Obesity Virus" As Quackery

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International Size Acceptance Association seeks to educate the public about "obesity virus" and those who stand to profit from scaring people into thinking obesity is contagious.

The International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) objects to the notion that obesity is somehow a contagious virus. This "virus" notion is based on a questionable study concerning chicken obesity in the January issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology published by the American Physiological Society. ISAA would like to inform the public that one of the principle researchers in the study, Richard Atkinson, MD, has a direct interest in profiting from testing for the "obesity virus" -- at $450 per test -- through his company, Obtech, LLC.


Obetech, LLC Test Kit Order Form

Atkinson is also the current President and Co-Founder of the American Obesity Association and was a leading scientist in a 2005 study funded by Weight Watchers to promote Weight Watchers. The American Obesity Association's other co-founder, Judith Stern, PhD, is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Weight Watchers. The American Obesity Association's sponsors include Weight Watchers International, Inc., Jenny Craig, Inc. and Knoll Pharmaceutical Company, which manufactures the weight loss drug Meridia.


Atkinson, now at the Virginia Commonwealth University, owns all shares of Obetech LLC, a company that markets assays to detect infection with human adenovirus-36 and owns patent rights for these assays.


Catching Obesity: Identifying Viruses That May Make Us Fat

"This is quackery, pure and simple," said Allen Steadham, Founder and Director of ISAA. "The fact that one of the lead scientists from this study is set to directly profit from it takes us back to the snake oil days. This needs to be exposed and denounced. Obesity is not a disease and it is not a contagious virus."

ISAA's mission is to promote size acceptance and to help end weight-based discrimination throughout the world by means of advocacy and visible, lawful actions. ISAA also promotes fitness and healthy food choices for people of all sizes.

ISAA was founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas. ISAA has branches throughout the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

ISAA has reached millions through its website, podcasts, e-zine, media interviews and public speaking.


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