Iowa school teacher John Cisna said he lost 56 pounds while eating McDonald’s, and the company is taking that message on the road. The fast food chain wants to show a short documentary Cisna made last year, called “540 Meals: Choices Make the Difference,” in classrooms across America as part of a school’s nutritional education, Fortune reported.
Cisna ate every item on McDonald’s menu at least once and limited himself to 2,000 calories a day. After gaining notoriety for his weight loss, the company made Cisna a brand ambassador, ABC News reported.
Cisna now travels to schools to share his story. He has spoken to about 90 schools so far, mostly high schools and colleges, Reuters reported. But McDonald’s has tried to make it clear that it did not produce the movie, but it does pay Cisna a stipend to travel around the country for speaking engagements, Reuters reported.
"John's story is not a weight loss plan, and we do not recommend that anyone eat every meal at one restaurant every day for an extended period," spokesperson Lisa McComb told Reuters. "While the decision on how schools choose to educate and inform their students is up to them, we support John's desire as a teacher to provide students with facts to make informed choices."
The documentary details how Cisna lost weight over a period of six months while eating McDonalds — combined with exercise that is. The documentary is a stark contrast to the far more famous McDonald’s documentary, “Super Size Me,” which Cisna made his documentary as a response to, according to Fortune.
Cisna first wrote a book last year detailing his weight loss experience, called “My McDonald’s Diet: How I lost 37 pounds in 90 days and became a viral media sensation.”
“Super Size Me” chronicles documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s physical and psychological deterioration after he intentionally ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days. The 2004 film was widely seen as a criticism of McDonald’s and the fast food business as a whole for contributing to the spread of the obesity in the United States.
Q & A with studentsat Southeastern HS in southern Ohio using Skype! Great questionsfrom the students pic.twitter.com/vuNrkmrnS7
— John Cisna (@johncisna) October 10, 2015
Amid declining sales, McDonald’s has been struggling to redefine its brand, with initiatives to change the way it sears burgers, tested out lobster rolls on the market and famously started offering breakfast items all day.