It s been almost a truism that eating at McDonald s or other fast food emporia is a sure path to obesity, but it s not true at all. Although the 2004 documentary by Morgan Spurlock blamed his 30-day Mickey-D diet for a decline in health and increased weight, we have shown that it s possible to eat at McDonald s for 30 days and actually improve health for both men and women. Now that conclusion has been further substantiated by Mr. John Cisna of Akeny, Iowa.
Mr. Cisna, a high school science teacher, collaborated with three of his students to determine what effect eating only McDonald s foods for 90 days would have on his health body weight and blood cholesterol levels. Using online information from McDonald s, the students devised a 2000 calorie daily diet regimen using only the fast food chain s foods. They followed federal food guidelines in devising the diet. Mr. Cisna also started an exercise regimen of walking 45 minutes every day, and made his own documentary of his experiences.
The results? He began the experiment weighing 280 pounds, and with a total cholesterol level of 249 mg% (meaning mg per 100 cc of blood). By the time he finished, he had dropped 37 pounds, weighing in at 243 pounds a 13 percent decrease. Equally impressive, his total cholesterol level declined by 79 mg% from 249 mg% to 170 a level that meets American Heart Association guidelines. Not only that, his LDL or bad cholesterol also dropped substantially from 173 to 113 mg% over the 90 day experiment.
Before and after photos of Mr. Cisna can be found on the website of a local Iowa TV station, as can his own description of his experiment and the results. He explained that typically breakfast would be two egg white delights, a bowl of McDonald s maple oatmeal and a 1 percent milk. A salad for lunch would be followed by a more traditional value meal at dinner.
"So this isn't something where you say 'well he went to McDonalds and he only had the salads. No, I had the Big Macs, the quarter pounders with cheese. I had sundaes, I had ice cream cones," he said.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava wasn t surprised by the results. Mr. Cisna and his students again showed that it s the calories that count not just where and what you eat. While he did start exercising, it s unlikely that fact had a major impact on the results, although it was assuredly beneficial for his health.
Mr. Cisna was quoted thus: "The point behind this documentary is, Hey, it's (a) choice. We all have choices. It's our choices that make us fat not McDonald's."
We couldn t have said it better ourselves!