Obesity Action Coalition Calls on PETA to Immediately End Campaign Stigmatizing Individuals with Obesity

For Immediate Release
August 19, 2009

For More Information:
James Zervios
Director of Communications
(800) 717-3117

Tampa, Fla. – The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has called on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to immediately end its campaign for the promotion of vegetarianism due to its stigmatizing image and portrayal of  individuals with obesity. The OAC believes this campaign is completely inappropriate as no individual should be stigmatized based on their size or weight.

The campaign boasts a billboard with the text “Save the Whales – Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian” and features an image of an overweight woman in a bikini. “This campaign blatantly stigmatizes those with excess weight or obesity. The OAC fails to find the informational value of promoting vegetarianism through the hurtfulness of mocking those with obesity,” said Joseph Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

With more than 93 million Americans affected by obesity, this type of unacceptable stigmatization of individuals with obesity has no place in today’s society. Individuals with obesity are often stigmatized or discriminated against in a variety of areas, such as employment, school, healthcare and much more. The OAC finds obesity stigma to be extremely detrimental to the population with obesity as it furthers the all-too-frequent negative perceptions of those with obesity. The OAC demands PETA immediately end the campaign and remove the billboard from the public domain and the PETA Web site. In addition, the OAC is currently encouraging its Coalition members to respond directly to PETA about this inappropriate campaign. If you are not a member of the Coalition, but would also like to respond, please visit the OAC Web site at www.obesityaction.org for more information.

A 12,000 member strong nonprofit continually succeeds as the only obesity individual-focused organization. The OAC has been instrumental in many national and state-based issues throughout the past four years. Perhaps the most notable moment in the OAC’s history was the hosting of the Walk from Obesity – Walk on the Capitol where nearly 3,000 individuals left an ever-standing imprint in Washington, DC, for obesity rights and awareness.

About the OAC
The OAC is a National nonprofit charity dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.

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