"French fries equal thunder thighs." "Hamburgers equal spare tires." "Sweet tea equals liquid sugar." "America Dies on Dunkin." A 38-year-old former army doctor who was trying to advocate healthy eating was fired from his job at the Bay County Health Department in Florida for posting these signs.
But Dr. Jason Newsom didn't just post signs. He also tried to control what his co-workers snacked on. He banned doughnuts from staff meetings and said he'd throw them away if he saw them in the break room. He also banned candy bars in the vending machines, putting in peanuts instead.
Newsom was forced to resign when a local politician who owns a doughnut shop and two lawyers who own a Dunkin Donuts turned against him. When the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses made him take down the electronic signs outside the health department and forced him to resign.
"My method was a little provocative and controversial," he says, "but there wasn't a person in Bay County who wasn't talking about health and healthy eating."
Thirty-nine percent of all adults in his Florida county were overweight in 2007 and one in four was considered obese.
Do you have any snack police in your life? How would you feel if a co-worker or friend told you what snacks you could eat? Would it make a difference if that co-worker was a doctor?