In New-Tritional Info, students use rates and proportions to calculate how long they’d have to exercise to burn off different McDonald’s menu items and explore this even further in two project tasks, Have It Your Way and Would You Like Fries with That?
Current Version: April 22, 2014
In some cities, restaurants are required to post nutritional information for their foods, including the number of calories. But what does “550 calories” really mean, and does this information have an impact on what people eat?
In the launch activity of New-Tritional Info, students use unit rates and proportional reasoning to calculate how long they’d have to exercise to burn off different McDonald’s menu items. For instance, a person who weighs 125 pounds would have to ride a bike for more than 90 minutes to burn off all the calories in a Big Mac! They then discuss which they think is a better representation of nutritional information – calories or minutes – and imagine what would happen if fast food companies rewrote their menus in terms of exercise.
Students explore this even further in the project tasks, and can choose between two topics. In one task, students create a personalized menu tailored to their own bodies, diets, and exercise routines. In another, they use an “exercise” version of a McDonald’s menu to conduct a survey to determine whether presenting nutritional information differently affects what people order.