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Statistics Q&A

A research paper believes that the use of 2.4 oz. as the average size of a burger sold at McDonald’s is “conservative,” which would result in the estimate of 992.25 million pounds of saturated fat being lower than the actual amount that would be consumed. Explain why the author’s belief might be justified.

Answer:

       This paper conservatively (given progressively larger hamburger sizes) projected that the next 100 billion hamburger patties sold by McDonald’s would be a 2.4-oz. which is the average of the 3.2-ounce Big Mac and the 1.6-ounce hamburger patties. However, there could be some extraneous factors that, due to statistics from different agencies, influence the result. One factor is that the Big Mac was the smallest of the larger burgers that had been sold during McDonald’s most sales-intensive years since the 1980s, indicating that there might be some more heavy burgers that could influence the average weight. On the other hand, according to a survey of a 10% sample of Atlanta-area McDonald’s, the Big Mac now dominates burger sales, and it is reported to be the top seller worldwide. This survey shows us the huge impact of the Big Mac on the overall weight. Moreover, the research concerns about hamburgers’ health effects and their corresponding nutrition facts including saturated fats, so changes in the number of different kinds of burgers being sold could alter researchers’ results.

Do you think it would be possible to collect data that could lead to a value for the average burger size that would be better than 2.4 oz.? If so, explain how you would recommend collecting such data. If not, explain why you think it is not possible.

Answer:

       Although it is commonly believed worldwide that McDonald’s top sale burger is Big Mac, we cannot ensure how much more extent does its sale superior than those of other burgers. Besides, McDonald’s burgers vary in weights and categories significantly, and the numbers of consumers are not the same in different nations either. For instance, Chinese McDonald’s top sale burger is not Big Mac, and China might contain some distinctive small size burgers which could not be brought from other places. Moreover, the burgers that are designed for a specific place(in this example, China) might receive more popularity than other burgers since these burgers are created to meet the favor of local people(Chinese). The above are some confounding variables that lead to confusion. We cannot keep track of the differences in various nations and get plausible value for the average burger size better than 2.4 oz if we could not solve the problems mentioned above correctly. Since these problems are extremely hard to be excluded without the help of McDonald’s, we might conclude that we could not collect the accurate data.

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