May 18, 2011 -- For almost four decades, Don Gorske has been eating Big Macs at an obscene and unprecedented rate. On Tuesday, he reached a new milestone -- finishing his 25,000th burger.
"I plan on eating Big Macs until I die," the Fond du Lac, Wis., man said. "I have no intentions of changing. It's my favorite food. Nothing has changed in 39 years. I look forward to it every day."
Gorske, 59, says he's in good health and that he has the checkups to prove it. His cholesterol level is low and he was given a clean bill of health two months ago during his last physical, despite the fact that he exercises minimally.
Living off a diet of Big Macs is something most people could not get away with. Each Big Mac has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat, the equivalent of an entire large cheese pizza. It takes nine miles of walking to work off one Big Mac meal.
Gorske eats, on average, two Big Macs a day, and doctors say his good health is primarily a result of his genetics.
Although Gorske is a genetic freak, most Americans aren't and there is no genetic test to see if a person might be part of the same rare group that can ignore a healthy diet. Doctors say there are two equally important factors in cholesterol: family history and lifestyle.
However, a majority of Americans have cholesterol that's too high, doubling the risk of heart disease.
Exercise does help. Eighty percent of people who exercise and cut down on fat are able to lower their chances of having a heart attack.
As for Wisconsin's walking contradiction, he survives against the odds, 25,000 Big Macs and counting, never knowing if his next could be his last.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.