Newspaper man loses 6kg on 'McDonald's diet'

11th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

11 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A Dutch newspaper reporter has lost about 6kg after embarking on a 30-day experiment during which he only ate at McDonald's fast-food restaurants.

11 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — A Dutch newspaper reporter has lost about 6kg after embarking on a 30-day experiment during which he only ate at McDonald's fast-food restaurants.

The editor's weight loss was in contrast to the 12kg gained by US filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who undertook a similar food test at McDonald's outlets in the US for his film "Super Size Me". Spurlock  is suffering liver problems as a result. The film will premiere in Dutch cinemas on Thursday.

Medical examinations have indicated that editor Wim Meij — who works for the Rotterdam-based daily Algemeen Dagblad (AD) — lost 6.3kg in the past month. His blood pressure was also down.

According to the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the circumference of Meij's stomach decreased by 5cm. The stomach is where risk fat can build up and the decrease therefore led to a reduced risk of heart and blood vessel disease and diabetes.

Guided by LUMC internist Jaap Fogteloo and a dietician, the newspaper editor ate McDonald's food three times per day, eating the entire assortment that the fast food chain offered. Just as Spurlock did, Meij only ate fast food for one month.

But TV footage from a NOVA documentary on Tuesday night and newspaper photographs have also shown that Meij ate salads frequently along with all the other offerings on the McDonald's menu. On the other hand, Spurlock is seen in the NOVA documentary regularly consuming hamburgers and chips.

Fogteloo was not surprised by the result of the AD experiment, but admitted he was surprised by the amount of weight loss. "It is clear that by definition, you do not become fat with McDonald's," he said.

He also said that people do not become fat by entering a supermarket. Instead, it depends on what people eat. In contrast to Meij, Spurlock ate more calories than he burned off, leading to weight gain.

"And if you do that in an irresponsible manner, you also remain unhealthy," Fogteloo said.

McDonald's — which was not warned beforehand of the AD experiment — is happy that positive news has emerged in the media about the company.

"Meij has shown that you can eat responsibly with us by consciously choosing to do so," the general director of McDonald's Netherlands, Paul van der Stoel, said.

But despite the result of the AD experiment and Meij's statement that you can responsibly eat at McDonald's, research from the fast food chain also indicates that just 20 percent of its orders are for salads. The other 80 percent comprises of hamburgers and other such foods.

Spurlock claims that everyone has misunderstood him, asserting that his film was not an attack against McDonald's, but at the American lifestyle. He said people in the US eat too much, don't think about what they eat and exercise too little.

For the record, Fogteloo has warned consumers that the result of the AD experiment is not a reason to solely eat at McDonald's. Instead, he urged people to eat healthily and said if they do so, it is should not pose a problem should they choose to eat at McDonald's once or twice per month.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

Correction: Expatica incorrectly reported on 10 August that AD editor Wim Meij gained 12kg and was having liver problems after a month-long McDonald's diet. In fact, we should have referred to filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. As is clear from today's report, Meij lost weight. We apologise for the error.

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