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Controversy Strikes – Anti-Obesity/Portion Control Ad

January 30, 2012

PHECanada wrote via Twitter:

Another controversial anti-obesity campaign launched. Is this an effective way to get the msg out? #physed #pegeeks
That controversial ad was a recent portion control/anti-obesity awareness ad.  According to CBS New York (, the NYC Health Department used photoshop to crop out a man’s leg, thus making him an amputee.  The photo can be seen below.
What’s your opinion on the matter?  Firstly, do you believe this to be an effect advertisement?  And secondly, was it ethical to portray an able-bodied individual as an amputee via photoshop in order to deliver the message?
Finally, here’s a quote worth examining from spokesperson John Kelly from the NYC Health Department:
“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.”

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