January 8, 2014 1:57 pm
Updated: January 8, 2014 2:32 pm

McDonald’s ‘congratulates’ teacher’s weight loss on fast food diet

In this Jan. 20, 2012 photo, the McDonald's logo and a Happy Meal box with french fries and a drink are posed at McDonald's.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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TORONTO — What do you think would happen to your health if you ate Big Macs, fries and McNuggets every day for three months? McDonald’s is applauding a U.S. science teacher’s 37-pound weight loss after he lived off of the fast food giant’s fare for 90 days.

John Cisna, an Iowa science teacher, told KCCI, a local news station in Des Moines, that he was inspired after watching the 2004 documentary Supersize Me. In that film, a man ate only McDonald’s for a month then documented how the greasy, fat-laden meals destroyed his health.


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In Cisna’s case, he laid out a 2,000-calorie daily limit. He recruited students to help him plan daily meals.

“I can eat any food at McDonald’s (that) I want as long as I’m smart for the rest of the day with what I balance it out with,” Cisna told KCCI.

He would even try to stay within daily allowances when it came to carbohydrates, proteins, fat and cholesterol. And with the help of a local McDonald’s franchise that was interested in his project, he received three months of meals on the house.

READ MORE: What Canadians want to know about what’s in fast food meals

For breakfast, he’d have two egg white delights, a bowl of maple oatmeal and one per cent milk, for example. At lunchtime, he’d eat a salad and at dinner, he’d splurge on a traditional burger and fries meal.

Cisna made it clear that he wasn’t just grazing on salads: “No, I had the Big Macs, the quarter pounders with cheese. I had the sundaes, I had ice cream cones,” he said.

But he also took up walking for 45 minutes daily. Cisna said that before the challenge, he didn’t watch what he ate and he didn’t exercise.

READ MORE: Reality check: Seattle woman vows to drink and eat food only from Starbucks for a year

By the end of the 90 days, Cisna says he lost 37 pounds and his cholesterol dropped from 249 to 170.

McDonald’s says that it had no knowledge of this project until late last week.

“We congratulate John Cisna on his weight loss and improved overall health and we are pleased he was able to accomplish his goals by making balanced choices,” Dr. Cindy Goody, a registered dietitian and McDonald’s senior director of nutrition, said in a statement sent to Global News.

McDonald’s own CEO even said he lost 20 pounds while still eating fast food daily last May.

The story out of an analyst conference last year was that CEO Don Thompson told reporters he lost 20 pounds in the past year by “working out again” while keeping his habit of eating McDonald’s “every single day.”

READ MORE: Measuring meals by exercise, not calories helps consumers eat healthy: study

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

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