A high school science teacher re-imagined the premise of Morgan Spurlock’s film Super Size Me, eating nothing but McDonald’s for 90 days. By sticking to nutritional guidelines, he managed to lose 37lbs. and his cholesterol dropped 50 points.
John Cisna teaches science at Colo-Nesco High outside Des Moines, Iowa. He came up with the idea as a class project, allowing three of his students to create his daily menu at a local McDonald’s for three months. The class tracked the results on a spreadsheet. As the report below points out, when Cisna shared the idea with the local McDonald’s they agreed to provide all of his meals for free.
There were several differences between Spurlock’s film and Cisna’s experiment. Spurlock’s film took place over 30 days and there were some silly rules suitable for a Jim Carrey comedy. Spurlock was required to purchase a “super-sized” meal any time he was offered one and he had to eat everything he bought, even if he wasn’t hungry. He wound up gaining 20 lbs. and making a trip to the doctors fearing he was having heart problems (among other issues).
By contrast, Cisna’s experiment lasted 90 days and his students attempted to keep him close to the recommended daily nutrition guidelines for calories and carbohydrates. Cisna says he ate salads for lunch but dinners included everything on the menu, such as burgers, fries, and even ice cream.
Back in 2004 Morgan Spurlock became a sensation when his film Super Size Me became the darling of the Sundance Film Festival. The film eventually earned $30 million worldwide, an unusually large sum for a documentary and far more than the $65,000 production budget.
Spurlock has since moved on to other projects. In 2012 he released a film about San Diego’s Comic-Con which was co-produced by Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles. In 2013 he directed a concert film for the boy band One Direction.