Courageous Doctor Standing Up for What is Right - Jason Newsom, MD, We Applaud You!

Jason Newsom, M.D.
has been awarded
The Eat to Live Honor Award
for displaying outstanding courage in standing up to protect American lives. You are a true American hero and we applaud you.

Dr. Newsom I applaud you. Wow, this man is clearly an American hero, who aims to help others, in spite of personal sacrifice, economic backlash, and a hostile environment of addicts that surround him. More about him:

  • He is an American hero, 38-year-old former Army doctor - served in Iraq
  • Returned home to run the Bay County Health Dept. in Panama City, Fla.
  • Launched a one-man war on obesity by posting warnings on electric sign outside the health department building:
  • “Sweet Tea Liquid Sugar”
  • “Hamburger Spare Tire”
  • “French Fried Thunder Thighs”
  • “America Dies on Dunkin’” to replace Dunkin’ Donut’s advertising slogan, “America Runs on Dunkin’”
  • A county commissioner who owns a doughnut shop and two lawyers who own a new Dunkin’ Donuts on Panama City Beach, along with some of his own employees, turned against him.
  • After the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses at the Fla. Health Dept. made him remove the anti-donut rants, and eventually forced him to resign.
  • Newsom picked on doughnuts because they are, “ubiquitous in this country. Everywhere I went, there were two dozen doughnuts on the back table. At church, there were always doughnuts on the back table at Sunday school. It is social expectation thing.”
  • He was hired by the state Health Dept. to direct the county agency. His job primarily involved educating the public about health issues, including the dangers of doughnuts.
  • He angered staff members by barring doughnuts from dept. meetings and announcing he would throw them away if he saw them in the break room. He also banned candy bars in the vending machines, putting in peanuts instead.
  • Dunkin’ Donut businessmen had the backing of the County Commissioner, who owns a diner and doughnut shop himself. The County Commissioner called for Newsom’s ouster. “I think he was somewhat of a zealot. I don’t have a problem with him pushing an agenda, it’s the way he did it. People borrowed money to go into business and they are being attacked by the government.”
  • His bosses at the state Health Dept. told him that his leadership wasn’t wanted and that he could be fired or resign. He chose to resign on May 8, but has reapplied for the job.
  • Newsom currently works at a prison, doing exams of inmates.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts is pleased the signs have been removed.

Would you have risked your job to take a stand against donuts, sugar and fries?

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Comments (9) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Vicki - September 1, 2009 10:55 AM

OMG I LOVE this guy! Good for him for banning donuts from dept. meetings and trying to counteract the false advertising from the fast food companies. Bravo!

Barry Honeycombe - September 1, 2009 10:55 AM

What a hero. There are few people who have those principles. What an example to set. We need more like that in the UK too.

Emily Boller - September 1, 2009 10:59 AM

Congratulations and much admiration to Dr. Newsom!

He is truly an American hero to stand up for values that can rescue many from a life of unnecessary pain, suffering and misery. The Titanic is sinking, and he is getting penalized for his rescue efforts?!

I think it's interesting that the youth of America are protected by laws established by the government to prevent them from purchasing cigarettes prior to the age of 18. Considering there is proven data to suggest the impact of being overweight and obese outweighs the medical costs ond complications of cigarette damage at this time in the US, I find this man's "punishment" to be unbelievable.

Cream-filled, deep fried, sugar coated doughnuts are promoted to children, and it is not even permissible to criticize this practice, while cigarettes are illegal? And, yes, junk food and soft drinks are designed to be addictive, and we serve them in schools and EVERYWHERE. This double standard seems incongruent to me.

Hmmmmmm, would I risk my job to take a stand against dounuts, sugar and fries? Ouch. That's where the rubber meets the road of personal integrity. I think in the past I would have been silent, but the more I have learned about nutrition and the impact it has on health, the less I can be silent with a clear conscience.

I hope when the time comes that I will risk my reputation and propriety to speak up and act upon my beliefs; even if it goes agaist what's acceptable in mainstream culture. I'm sure my time is coming. I'm sure it's coming for all of us who want to uphold the values of liberty and free speech; freedom to make our own health care decisions, and the freedom to critique dangerous "foods" that lead to unnecessary suffering, disease and medical costs.

schwabby - September 1, 2009 11:15 AM

Yes, I believe I would have lost my job to take a stand, I have a cousin who is laying in a bed, just moved home today, dying because she has said no more dialysis, diabetes has robbed her of life, my sister died a year and half ago, again complications of obesity and diabetes. We need to start taking a stand against the epidemic that is killing too many people. We have been lied to about proper nutrition for far too long. People need to know the truth and it takes radicals such as this doctor to inform an otherwise uninformed public.
Way to go Doc! I hope there is a job for you somewhere that you can continue your fight!

Steve - September 1, 2009 12:40 PM

I saw this in the news here in Canada a couple of weeks ago so the story was widely broadcast (I actually emailed it to Gerry). I hope that the publicity helps the Doctor in the long run.


aunt cia - September 1, 2009 6:03 PM

I certainly would've risked my job for the sake of public awareness and hopefully turning more people to the nutrient dense way of eating! I do not appreciate having my children constantly pulled between their mom's desire for their health and the "goodies" placed in front of them at church dinners and friends' homes...Let's all band together to raise the standard on American eating!

chris - September 2, 2009 9:35 PM

I saw this article in our paper a couple weeks ago. Dr Newsom was actually doing his job too well, but hit closer to the mark than was "comfortable". His message was direct, bold, and creative with the intent to help steer folks away from the habitual, destructive, addiction of junk food that surrounds us at every corner. I salute you, Dr. Newsom.

Mrs. Fossler - September 3, 2009 12:19 AM

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't be in Dr. Newsom's same situation...I've been absolutely DISGUSTED with the federally funded free breakfasts my students have been receiving at my school. I've already emailed Senator McCain in regards to the 500 plus calories/14.5 grams of fat breakfast we had last week (CHOCOLATE donut, CHOCOLATE milk, and orange slices), and my students are currently critiquing our daily meals and coming up with HEALTHY options for what they COULD be eating instead. We'll soon be sending letters to our superintendent, the governor, our senators, as well as to the President himself. We'll also be enclosing our "orange smile" photos to show these folks what makes us HAPPY and HEALTHY.

I guess you can say I've got "Eat to Live" to "blame" for this, as Dr. Fuhrman's book truly opened my eyes. It's also shown me that as an educator, I have much more to teach than reading, writing, arithmetic, as well as English to my students.

Emily Boller - September 3, 2009 9:54 AM

Yes, we push great academic knowledge. We push achieving high SAT scores to do well in college.

The student gets that much coveted college / post college degree(s), lands that dream job . . . . then what?

Sickness? Disease? Perhaps premature death because we did not properly educate AND train students to sow seeds of excellent nutrition for optimal health into their bodies?

Something is terribly amiss.

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