McDonald's ends nutrition program for schoolchildren

McDonald's has ended a controversial practice of giving nutrition advice to students in schools, pulling back on a program that critics said was a subtle form of fast-food marketing that could imperil children's health and understanding of nutrition.

The company had been sending into schools John Cisna, a middle-aged teacher from Iowa who gained fame after claiming to have lost almost 60 pounds eating only McDonald's. Cisna will no longer visit schools, and McDonald's stopped supplying schools with related materials, including a documentary that was shown to students about how Cisna lost his weight.

McDonald's said the program, carried out by local franchises, was intended to educate students about nutrition and good habits, not promote its offerings. But critics, including some parents and health experts, complained that it sent a confusing message that left children thinking burgers and fries could be a regular part of a healthy diet.

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