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NYC Health Department Defends Using Photoshopped Amputee In Anti-Obesity Ad

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Portion Control Campaign (credit: NYC Health Dept.)

Portion Control Campaign (credit: NYC Health Dept.)

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — An aggressive New York City anti-obesity ad campaign is raising some eyebrows and courting controversy.

You may have seen the Health Department poster featuring an amputated man who — as suggested by the ad — lost a leg to diabetes. The poster reads “Portions have grown so has type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations.”

It turns out, however, he lost that leg to Photoshop.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Gets Reaction From New Yorkers


The issue came to light following a story in the New York Times that reported the man, whose face is obscured in the ad, is actually a model who posed for a stock photo.

Carol D’Auria of 1010 WINS spoke with some city residents who had differing opinions on the ad campaign.

“Oh it’s absolutely deceptive,” a woman named “Laura,” who works for the city, told D’Auria.

Antonio Kirk had a different perspective on the topic.

“If it was me, I wouldn’t want nobody to take a picture of me with an amputated leg. I mean it’s deceiving, but it’s understandable,” he said.

The Health Department certainly isn’t apologizing for the decision to use the photo.

In fact, spokesperson John Kelly released a statement saying: “Sometimes we use individuals who are suffering from the particular disease, other times we have to use actors. We might stop using actors in our ads if the food industry stops using actors in theirs.”

What do you make of the obesity ad controversy?  Share your thoughts below…

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