Doctor Richard Fleming said in a written statement Thursday that when he contacted the New York City medical examiner's office he made it clear he was not Atkins' physician or family member.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group critical of the Atkins diet, released details of the report earlier this week.
Information in the report showed the doctor was at a weight normally considered obese when he died in 2003. Thereport also showed the 72-year-old had a history of heart trouble.
Fleming said his interest in Atkins’ health was scientific. He said the report he obtained was provided to the physician's group only for research purposes.
But the president of the group, Doctor Neal Barnard, said it was Fleming who took the initiative to contact his staff about the report.
Barnard said Fleming was well aware the report was being released to the press.
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