Running Off The Burger

How far would you have to run to burn off all the calories from this burger?


The Overview:

This is a slight remix of a traditional calorie problem in a math text.  Bascially I first show the students 4 burgers with the calorie count blacked out, and have them guess what it is for each burger.  Then I ask them to figure out how many miles they would have to run in order to burn off the calories from each burger.

The number of calories burned depends on how many miles you run and your weight:

# calories burned = 0.75(your weight)(miles ran)

Runners use the general rule of thumb that you burn 100 calories per mile.  You might what to use that fact for something – maybe ask them for what weight is that actually true.

The Advice

– The problem asks students to use their weight.  I offer up my weight and ask if some students could help me by doing the calculations for me.  That way they can choose to do it for themselves or me.

– I do not initially give them the relation for calories burnt vs. miles.  I make them request that information based on their need to solve the problem.

– If you want to incorporate a comparison between running and walking, here is the relationship for walking:

calories burned = 0.53 (your weight)(miles ran)

– I got these functions from Runner’s World:

The Goods:



The Extension:

How many times around the track would you have to run to burn off this burger?


This burger is called “The 8th Wonder”.  Although the calories of it have not been calculated, we know it’s 105lbs.  I have the students use the fact that “The Beast” is 15lbs and 18,000 calories.  Discuss with them if a linear model is sufficient for this calculation.

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