McDonald’s Stops Sending Fad Diet Teacher Into Schools To Speak About Eating Healthy

If you eat fewer calories than you expend, you’ll probably lose weight. If you use McDonald’s food to prove this piece of common-sense weight loss advice, you make headlines as if you’re some sort of miracle worker, and it also lands you a gig shilling for the fast food industry by going to schools to speak to kids — at least until McDonald’s realizes maybe it’s kind of embarrassing and quietly pulls the plug on your educational program.

Two years ago, a teacher in Iowa got micro-famous after dropping a few dozen pounds by eating only McDonald’s. The company — trying to combat sagging sales and a consumer base shifting toward foods that while not necessarily any healthier, at least look less like something from a 1950s industrial film — then hitched their wagon to his star, making him a piece of a controversial program where he’d visit schools and talk about his weight loss.

Heck, the slimmed-down teacher didn’t even have to visit schools. McDonald’s made a documentary about how one man — armed with only some McDonald’s food and the determination to lose weight in a way that would make him momentarily popular on the internet — managed to lose the same amount of weight he would have lost if he’d eaten the same amount of calories from any other place.

Let’s watch that clip, shall we:

Not surprisingly, the program was criticized for putting it into kids’ heads that they too could lose weight by eating something with “special sauce” on it (or even worse, that kids would be inspired to make a headline grab with whatever “I ate nothing but [fill in the blank] for 30 days” idea would make the local news).

According to teachers who saw these presentations, “There was a suggestion that if you look at what you’re eating, you could eat at McDonald’s for several days.”

The above quote appeared in a Oct. 2015 Washington Post story on the program. Now the Post reports that McDonald’s sidelined these silly talks only a couple weeks after that story ran.

However, just like it keeps bringing back the McRib every few years, the company is apparently keeping this teacher close to its golden bosom.

The educator/corporate shill is “currently focused on the opportunities that make the most sense for our brand at this time,” a rep for McDonald’s explains to the Post, presumably while wondering why she didn’t do something more worthwhile with her life, like being a hobo.

The rep actually trots out the phrase “brand ambassador” — the second-most odious title after “social media influencer” — to describe an actual job and not a fictional title from some satire on consumer culture. In this capacity, explains the rep, the lord high ambassador of brand is “currently focused on internal and local community events, and he is not appearing at schools.”

Amazingly, that last statement falls exactly in line with a statement provided by the teacher to the Post, in which he explains that he’s “focused on and enjoying talking to employees and community groups about my story of choice and balance.”

That statement wasn’t at all vetted by McDonald’s legal team. He’s just so in sync that the directives dispatched from his burger embassy happen to hit the exact same talking points.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to start putting together my YouTube series showing that I can lose weight by eating 900 calories of dog food every day while doing some moderate exercise between meals. Sure, my dog will be mad (and hungry), but he’ll be so happy when we end up getting three minutes on a national morning talk show.

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