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Math 126, Survey of Mathematical Methods

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• Published : October 20, 2011

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Are You Sure It’s Fat Free?
Stephon Staley
Math 126, Survey of Mathematical Methods
Anne Gloag
September 8, 2011

In the text of “mathematics in our world” on page 236, it sparks the interest of readers because it challenges the question “is it really fat free?” It goes on to give an example of a can meat that states that is 97% fat free. The text used the value of the total volume of the item, calories per serving, grams of fat per serving and a multiplier of 100%. The total volume was 10 ounces; the text then converted ounces to grams. 1 ounce is equal to 29 grams; making 10x29= 290 grams. Then the book divided 290 by the 9 grams of fat and then multiplied the answer by 100% 9/290 x 100% = 3.1%

Once the 3.1% is subtracted by 100% it shows that the content of the canned product is 97% fat free according to the manufactures’ mathematics. The text then goes on to state the real math behind it. Each gram of fat was converted into calorie, for one gram of fat it equals 9 calories. 9 grams of fat x 9 calories each equals 81 calories. 81 were then divided by the number of calories on the label 240. 81/240 was multiplied by 100%= 33.75% 81/240 x 100=33.75

This suggests that the 10oz can is 66.25% fat free as oppose to 97% as the label claims.
I found this to be misleading in an away where the book didn’t not state what the label said where the calories from fat. The manufactures’ are making claim in regards to actual grams of fat, not calories from fat so the above calculations are not proving anything but calories, calories where not in question; grams of fat are. I followed up with a few items in my household to further examine the actual calories from fat per serving. In my family we do not purchase our groceries based on how “fat free” it is. So these are a few “non reduced” items. The first up was a can of Campbell’s soup.

200 calories per 8oz serving
10g of fat
So the first step is to convert ounces to grams 8 x 29=232grams.Next divide the grams...