You probably don’t often use McDonald’s and nutrition in the same sentence, unless that sentence is something like, “McDonald’s sure doesn’t have a lot of nutrition.” But oddly enough, the fast food giant has recently been dabbling in a school nutrition program.
It all started when John Cisna, an Iowa-based science teacher, claimed to have lost 37 pounds in 90 days, on a diet that consisted entirely of McDonald’s. He limited his diet to 2,000 calories a day, but all those calories came from the McDonald’s menu.
Cisna’s story was later turned into a documentary called 540 Meals: Choices Make the Difference. He also authored a book, "My McDonald's Diet: How I lost 37 pounds in 90 days and became a viral media sensation,” and went on to partner with McDonalds as a brand ambassador. The brand uses this video, and lectures by Cisna, as a nutritional guide for children.
In news that’s not all that surprising, parents didn’t take to what they considered to be cleverly veiled Big Mac propaganda, and started a Change.org petition. The parents charged that the brand was attempting to get their kids hooked on unhealthy food by convincing them it was, in fact, healthy. McDonald’s eventually took note, and Cisna will no longer be speaking in schools.
Now, Cisna will continue to work with McDonald’s, instead focusing on internal and community events. "As our brand ambassador, John is focused on internal and local community events, and he is not appearing at schools," McDonald's said in a statement to Reuters. Looks like kids will just have to look elsewhere for powerful French fry advocates.