Once upon a time the Bay County Health Department was ruled by Dr. Jason Newsom, a patriotic army doctor who’d served in Iraq. According to Vitals.com, Dr. Newsom received his medical degree at the University of Miami and completed his residency at the Madigan Army Medical Center.
In his new position he began to wage a war against vein-clotting foods which was threatening the cardiovascular system of the citizens of Panama City, Florida. He targeted fatty hamburgers and even fattier French fries, but was unexpectedly defeated by the Dunkin’ Donut. In the end the only thing lost in the war on weight was his job.
This dramatic story begins when Dr. Newsom decided to launch a one-man war on obesity. He began posting eye-catching statements on an electronic sign outside his office such as, “Sweet Tea equals Liquid Sugar”, “French fries equals thunder thighs” and “Gatorade is sugar water.”
It was unfortunate that he also chose to parody the Dunkin Donuts slogan, “America runs on Dunkin” substituting “America Dies on Dunkin.”
Newsom explains, “I picked on doughnuts because those things are ubiquitous in this country. Everywhere I went there were two dozen of those things on the back table.”
Many in this town became riled up; especially the county commissioner who happened to own a doughnut shop and two lawyers who’d just opened a brand new Dunkin Donuts on Panama City Beach. Legal action was threatened and before he knew it his bosses at the Florida Health Department told him to cut it out or resign. He resigned.
He admits that he “never was known for his subtlety.” Even if it meant embarrassing overweight people, in the end it was for their own good.
“Sixty six percent of Americans are overweight or obese. There’s no way you can go out and talk about obesity without the majority of people feeling uncomfortable, because you are talking about them,” he said.
Regrettably it is outspokenness that did him out of a job. This candor will surely serve him well in his present position as the senior physician at a correctional facility in Chipley, FL.
Newsom has reapplied for his old job feeling that his bosses were shortsighted and a bit cowardly letting him go after only one threat of a lawsuit.
“Fear of litigation is a poor reason to let someone go.”