Young generation stokes up on fast food

This graph and article on the consumption of junk food could be the motivation for a data collection activity associated with another section of these materials. The basic question about the graphs is, 'are they the appropriate way to display the information available?' One should read the horizontal scale of the bar graph carefully to note the comparison of the total percentage with those of the age groups, as well as the age ranges presented. Clearly people 45 to 49 seem to have been omitted. As well one might ask about how the overall percentage was calculated in relation to the individual groups (were the groups of equal size?). Turning to the pie chart the glaring feature is the enormous percentage which is represented. Could we guess that 236% of the population eat fast food? This is obviously not the appropriate means of representing the information on people's preferences for fast food. One wonders how many choices were given to each person in the survey. There is also at least one sentence worthy of discussion in the article: "Fifty-two per cent of men are more likely to eat fast food, compared to 43 per cent of women". One would like to know, "more likely than what?" for the 52% of men. A discussion of possibilities could be interesting.

Where to next?

Student Questions for this article
Newspaper article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Representation
Main Index - Numeracy in the News