International Obesity Taskforce

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The International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) underwent a rebrand in 2014, changing its name to World Obesity/Policy & Prevention. World Obesity / Policy & Prevention has grown from, and replaces, the IOTF, a think tank originally convened in 1995 by Professor Philip James in order to 'prepare the first scientific research report on the global epidemic of obesity.' [1]

The IOTF describes itself "as a research-led think tank and advocacy arm of the International Association for the Study of Obesity." In 2002 the IOTF merged with the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

Its stated aims and objections are "to alert the world to the growing health crisis threatened by soaring levels of obesity. It works with the World Health Organization, other NGOs and stakeholders to address this challenge. The IOTF's mission is to inform the world about the urgency of the problem and to persuade governments that the time to act is now,".[2]

A report in the BMJ states:

Set up in the mid-1990s with help from grants from three drug companies, the task force aims to portray obesity as a "serious medical condition" and to promote better prevention and management strategies. It has a high media profile and is highly influential... Although the task force has at times disclosed the names of drug company sponsors, the exact amount of that sponsorship remains secret.
In 2002 the International Obesity Task Force officially merged with another group called the International Association for the Study of Obesity. The most recent annual report of the newly merged group highlights close ties with WHO but also shows that two drug companies, Roche and Abbott, are primary sponsors, supplying around two thirds of its total funding. Roche makes the antiobesity drug orlistat (Xenical), and Abbott makes sibutramine hydrocholoride (Reductil). The report also shows that the task force's available cash amounts to more than £1m.[3]


The annual report for 2004-2005 shows corporate funders were

The report also records the total funding received as £347,906 although there is no breakdown of where the funding came from.[4]


The IOTF website lists links to various organisations including:

Corporate Members

Policy & Prevention Steering Committee

Previous Personnel

Contact Details

Former address

231 North Gower Street,
London NW1 2NR, United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7691 1900
Facsimile: +44 (0) 20 7387 6033
Website: /
e-mail: inquiries / obesity At

New address

IOTF c/o IASO Secretariat
28 Portland Place
London W1B 1LY
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 207 467 9610
Fax: +44 (0) 207 636 9258

External Resources, Notes


  1. /Policy & Prevention World Obesity, accessed 20 March 2015
  2. What is the IOTF
  3. Ray Moynihan, "Obesity task force linked to WHO takes "millions" from drug firms", British Medical Journal, June 17, 2006.
  4. Internationl Association fot eh Study Of Obesity Annual Report 2004-2005 accessed 6 December 2007
  5. accessed 6 December 2007
  6. Corporate Membership World Obesity, accessed 20 March 2015