Comparing Calories in Fast Food Burgers and Chicken (Grades 58)
Concepts Overview
 Healthy Hearts  Comparing Calories
 Medicine and You
 Answers

More Math Concepts
Check
out the tip sheet on
Creating
Box and Whisker Plots on Calculators
Use the Table of Calories for Burgers and Chicken to complete this activity.
In
our culture, fast food is one component of what we eat.
This activity will help us gain a better understanding
of the varying number of calories when we eat fast food.
We will also do a comparison of hamburgers and chicken
sandwiches from three leading fastfood restaurants:
McDonald’s, Burger King, and Hardee’s.
1.
What is the range of calories for the plain hamburgers
listed?
2.
What is the range of calories for the plain cheeseburgers
listed?
3.
What is the average number of calories in the 16 hamburger
sandwiches listed from McDonald’s, Hardee’s, and Burger
King?
4.
What is the average number of calories in the 6 chicken
sandwiches listed from McDonald’s, Hardee’s, and Burger
King?
A
box and whisker plot is a way to represent data. The
horizontal axis represents the values for the data.
The box represents the middle 50% of the data. In other
words, it runs from 25% to 75% of the data and has a
vertical line showing the location of 50%. The whiskers
extend out from the box and show the range from 0% to
25% and from 75% to 100%.
Example:
The data 270, 290, 320, 350, 390, 440, 440, and 640
result in the following box and whisker plot. Since
there are 8 pieces of data, the "breaks" fall between
data points 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6 and 7. The left
endpoint is at 270. The left side of the box is at 305,
which is halfway between 290 and 305. The center line
is at 370, which is halfway between 350 and 390. The
right side of the box is at 440 because both numbers
are 440. The right endpoint is at 640.
5.
Create a box and whisker graph for the calories in the
chicken sandwiches listed from McDonald’s, Hardee’s,
and Burger King.
(The
data 350,440,480,500,550, and 710 result in the following
box and whisker plot. This can be done by hand or with
the help of the graphing calculator. By hand, have student
arrange data in order from lowest to highest. Since
there are 6 pieces of data, the middle value is between
the middle two pieces of data, 480 and 500. So the middle
bar is at 490. Since there are three values to the left
of the middle value the left endpoint is at 350 and
the left side of the box is at the middle piece of data,
or 440. Similarly, the right side of the box is at 550,
and the right endpoint is 710.)
6.
Create a box and whisker graph for the calories in the
16 hamburger sandwiches listed from McDonald’s, Hardee’s,
and Burger King.
(There
are 16 pieces of data, so 4 values are represented in
each section. The left endpoint is at 260, the left
side of the box is at 325, the middle bar is at 510,
the right side of the box is at 605, and the right end
point is at 960.)
7.
Compare the two graphs using the same scale on the horizontal
axis. What can you say about the calories in chicken
and hamburger sandwiches?
(The
following graph shows chicken (on top) as compared with
hamburger sandwiches. Some things students notice may
include: their middle values or medians are very close
the right whisker for hamburgers is very long because
a couple of sandwiches have a lot of calories and you
can get a burger that has fewer calories than chicken
sandwiches.)
8.
Which has fewer calories, chicken sandwiches or hamburger
sandwiches? Explain your answer.
