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    This was taken on the southwest corner of Broadway and 96th Street. I took half a dozen quick "hip shots", because I was standing fairly close to them, and didn't want them to notice me as I photographed them. While this was the best of the collection, unfortunately I inadvertently cut off part of their shoes.

    Note: this photo was published in a Sep 6, 2009 blog titled "Homo Junkiens."

    Moving into 2010, the photo was published in a Jan 10, 2010 blog titled "Childhood Obesity Statistics." And it was published in a Jan 26, 2010 blog titled "Michelle Obama targets childhood obesity." It was also published in a Mar 10, 2010 blog titled "Hallan nuevas alteraciones de la diabetes tipo 2 en jóvenes." And it was published in an undated (Mar 2010) all-about-obesity-dot-com blog , with the same title as the caption that I used on this Flickr page. It was also published in an undated blog titled "Childhood Obesity Statistics 2009: Images." And it was published in an Apr 13, 2010 blog titled "The Problem With Our War on Obesity." It was also published in an undated (Apr 2010) Squidoo blog titled "Adrenal Fatigue Diet," and an undated (Jul 2010) BennyHollywood blog titled "A Picture is Worth… In 1991 The Fattest US States Were As Thin As The Leanest in 2009." It was also published in a Sep 3, 2010 blog titled "Digital Camera Battery Tips." And it was published in a Sep 27, 2010 blog titled "Deutschland ist zu dick."

    Moving into 2011, the photo was published in a Feb 13, 2011 blog titled "Childhood Obesity Statistics." It was also published in an Apr 5, 2011 blog titled "Arizona proposes fee for obese or smoking Medicaid recipients." It was also published in an Apr 28, 2011 blog titled "If You See Overweight People Will You Eat More?" And it was published in a Jul 2, 2011 blog titled "Según el informe Aladino 2011 la obesidad aumenta entre los niños españoles," as well as a Jul 6, 2011 blog titled "Diabetes: Getting Worse Every Day in Every Way." It was also published in an Aug 10, 2011 blog titled "Why There’s More Money in Maintaining the Obesity Crisis Than Ending It." And it was published in an Oct 5, 2011 blog titled "Is a ‘fat tax’ the answer to Australia’s obesity crisis?", as well as an Oct 13, 2011 blog titled "La obesidad infantil y sus consecuencias INTRODUCCION." It was also published in an Oct 14, 2011 blog titled "Desarrollo." And it was published in an Oct 16, 2011 blog titled "Problemas acarreados por la obesidad: Obesidad Infantil y sue consecuencias." It was also published in a Dec 16, 2011 blog titled "Childhood Obesity Rates Drop, But Disparities Remain."

    Moving into 2012, the photo was published in an undated (early Jan 2012) blog titled "How Does Obesity Cause Diabetes?" It was also published in a Jan 17, 2012 blog titled "Quitting Smoking Among Adults: United States 2001-2010" And it was published in a Feb 15, 2012 blog titled "School Furniture Manufacturers Are Now Making Larger Desk Chairs For Fat Students." It was also published in a Mar 15, 2012 blog titled "Is It Counter Productive That the Whitehouse Wants to Fund the New?", as well as an Apr 15, 2012 blog titled "How to Prevent Childhood Obesity?" It was also published in a Jun 8, 2012 blog titled "Science, Evolutionary Biology, And Simple Economics Say Bloomberg's Soda Ban Is Right." And it was published in an Aug 30, 2012 blog titled "17 Things That Make You Dumber." It was also published in a Sep 21, 2012 blog titled "Additivi nella plastica? Il Bisfenolo A promuove l'obesità." And it was published in a Sep 26, 2012 blog titled "Childhood Obesity and Soda: Science Says It's A Problem, Soda Companies Say It's Not." It was also published in an Oct 29, 2012 blog titled "Why God Hates New York." And a severely cropped version of the photo was published in a Dec 7, 2012 blog titled "Should fat make the grade on report cards?"

    Moving into 2013, the photo was published in a Jan 24, 2013 blog titled "Overweight and Obese People Need More Fat-Soluble Vitamins - Part 1 of 2." And it was published ina Feb 8, 2013 blog titled "Is it OK to make fun of overweight people?" It was also published in a Feb 22, 2013 blog titled "Dear Junk Food: We Love You, But You’re Bringing Us Down." And it was published in an undated (late June 2013) blog titled "24 Uplifting Short Hairstyles For Fat Women." Note: A cropped version of the photo was published in a blog titled "STUDY: 'Fat shaming' increases chance of becoming obese." It was also published in an Aug 16, 2013 blog titled "Obesity in America Is Three Times More Deadly Than We Thought."


    This is the continuation of a photo-project that I began in the summer of 2008: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

    As I indicated when I started this project in 2008, I don't like to intrude on people's privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they're still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what's right in front of me.

    I've also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting -- literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I've learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture ... after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it's pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

    Thus far, I've generally avoided photographing bums, drunks, crazies, and homeless people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don't want to be photographed, and I don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of them. I'm still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We'll see how it goes ...

    The only other thing I've noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, far more people who are not so interesting. They're probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I've photographed ... but there was just nothing memorable about them.

    Creative Sage™, essential67, and 13 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 5 more comments

    1. Ed Yourdon 36 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the compliment and kind words. I've added a link to your blog from the "notes" section associated with the photo.

    2. lost weight fast 36 months ago | reply

      Thank you for sharing this pic. I am using it on Lose Weight Fast

    3. fso879 35 months ago | reply

      You published this photo with the intention to discriminate these people by claiming their obesity is caused by unreasonable behaviour. There are enough medical studies demonstrating that obesity is not related to abnormal eating behaviour, except to the notorious yo-yo effect. Additionally, you are publishing photos of identifiable persons whithout asking them, just to make yourself important. -- Well, there are things worse than being fat ...

    4. SJH Foto 35 months ago | reply

      I may not agree with all of Ed's viewpoints, Fso879, but i can honestly say that i don't think he is being malicious.

      As far as publishing photos of identifiable people, i don't think there is anything wrong with that. There is no law against it in the area he lives in, nor is that something seen as an issue. I also know that if someone contacts Ed and asks that his picture be removed, he graciously does

    5. fso879 35 months ago | reply

      Hi SJH Foto. But his defamatory intention in this case cannot be overseen. He may think this is okay, because higher authorities also discriminate fat people these times. We had the same issues already in the past with women, race etc. And how and when can these people on the photo notice that their bodies are misused this way? Publishing photos requires to take up some responsibility, whether denoted in law or not.

    6. SJH Foto 35 months ago | reply

      Agreed. As i said, i do not agree with his comment on the people-i just don't think there was a malice intent behind it.

      I don't have a problem with the pictures being there though

    7. Ed Yourdon 35 months ago | reply

      fso879, SJH_Foto,

      Thanks for the interesting comments/observations and commentary on this photo.

      As SJH_Foto said, nothing malicious or defamatory was intended; but I can understand how it could be perceived or interpreted that way. Since my attempts at humor can apparently backfire, I've simply changed the caption to "untitled" at this point.

      But there may be a deeper issue, and it may turn out that the only acceptable solution is to delete the photo completely. Look at the notes that I've added for this photo, and you'll see that it has been published roughly two dozen times in various blogs -- almost all with a caption/title that has something to do with obesity. I don't think it had anything to do with my original caption, but I have to acknowledge that I used tags of "obese" and "obesity" as keywords for the photo.

      I think that what has happened is that publishers all over the world, as well as me (in my role as photographer) have taken a quick look at this scene and made a "snap judgment" that the two subjects are "role models" for overweight young Americans ... for which there are all kinds of opinions as to how/why the situation has developed, who/what has caused it, and what should be done about it.

      And it may be true that there's no way to make such a photographic portrayal without having it interpreted as being judgmental/critical (or even "defamatory") of the subjects. Maybe I could have avoided all of that with a caption that read, "Here's a common scene in America. I don't know how it happened in this particular case, but it illustrates that we've got a national problem to deal with."

      Or perhaps there is no acceptable way of presenting this photographic scene without having it interpreted in a negative fashion. If so, perhaps the responsible thing for me to do is delete the photo.

      I'll be interested to see and hear people's thoughts and opinions on the subject.


      P.S. As SJH_Foto indicated, my understanding is that a model release is not required for a photo of this nature, taken in a public place, as long as it's used in a non-commercial/non-profit fashion. I have received no compensation or any kind from the various blogs and magazine/articles that have published the photo under the Creative Commons license that I use for all of my Flickr photos.

    8. SJH Foto 35 months ago | reply

      Your PS is correct. I think Fso879 was questioning the moral responsibility of posting this rather than the legal responsibility. But again, we as Jehovah's Witnesses have had articles on obesity. While genetics and disease play a role in some people being overweight, lack of exercise and moderation play a role in the majority of obese people. It's a shame-but as FSO879 said, there are a lot of other problems this world has too. Many people lack morals (as can be seen by the prevalence of improper sexual conduct worldwide), there is so much violence (not just wars, but violent crime, violent "entertainment" etc) in the world today. Only God's Kingdom will solve the problems this world has, including obesity

    9. SJH Foto 35 months ago | reply

      As the caption of this photo shows:


      this is the only (or one of very few) overweight Amish persons i have seen. Again, genetics may play a role, but the moderation of eating and exercise (in the form of physical labour) they do precludes much obesity among them. An example of how habits play the lion's share with obesity

    10. Ed Yourdon 35 months ago | reply


      Thanks -- I think your perspective is correct. I want to do some more thinking about why my moral responsibility is, in matters like this, where I'm acting at least partly in the role of "photo journalist" or "social commentator" with my photos. I want to draw people's attention to issues and problems that need to be solved (perhaps in a time-frame before the arrival of God's Kingdom), but I don't want to attack, judge, or criticize innocent people -- which the two subjects in this photo may well be.

      I'll wait to hear Fso879's reaction and thoughts before I decide what to do.

      Meanwhile, though, thanks again for your input and perspective.


    11. SJH Foto 35 months ago | reply

      No problem, Ed

    12. stockingblue 29 months ago | reply

      Thanks for sharing. This image is now featured in Why God Hates New York on Stocking Blue.

    13. maypalacpac 25 months ago | reply

      Thank you for sharing this image. I used it for an article blog on bootcampsydney.com.au/blog/2013/03/media-and-exercise/ scheduled to post on March 20.

    14. Haabet 15 months ago | reply

      What is the red drinking?

    15. Ed Yourdon 15 months ago | reply


      I'm not sure what the fellow is drinking -- but this street corner is only about 50 feet away from our neighborhood MacDonald's outlet, where they serve various flavors (including strawberry) of so-called "smoothies." It's interesting to note, though, that the large-size version of their strawberry-banana smoothie (which appears to be what the kid is drinking) has 330 calories, which is more than a cheeseburger. For more info, see


    16. Haabet 15 months ago | reply

      I think the problem is that sugar is fructose. Fructose is rapidly converted to fat, and so blood sugar drops abruptly. And when blood sugar drops quickly then you hungry, even if blood sugar is high. It is not so much the strawberry drink as fattening, but what you eat when you are terribly hungry after drinking this beverage.

    17. The Health Cloud 10 months ago | reply

      Thanks for using the creative commons license, I have used you image in our health news. You have been credited at the bottom www.thehealthcloud.co.uk/sleeps-memory-role-discovered/

    18. Efanet 2 months ago | reply

      The picture is great. We have also used it to inform about lung function decrease due to body fat: www.facebook.com/EFAPatients/photos/a.386042578129753.899...

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