By and large was used figuratively as early as 1706 in Edward Ward’s Wooden World Dissected . The jump from literal to figurative use is difficult to follow. This method of sailing is generally faster, a bit safer and easier (it offers less chance of being “taken aback” than sailing directly “by the wind”)—on the whole, better in the long run. It is the quality of being preferable ‘on the whole’ or ‘in general’ (even if a detailed analysis proved otherwise) that is transferred to nonnautical situations.
As part of the 45th anniversary of the Whopper sandwich in 2002, Burger King introduced a grilled chicken version of the sandwich called the Chicken Whopper and added a smaller Chicken Whopper Jr. sandwich along with a new Caesar salad sandwich topped with a Chicken Whopper patty.    The introduction of the Chicken Whopper represented the company's first move to extend the Whopper brand name beyond beef based sandwiches since the original Whopper's introduction in the 1950s.  The sandwiches featured a whole chicken breast filet, weighing either oz (130 g) for the larger sandwich or a oz (88 g) for the Jr., mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame seed roll.  A newly reformulated low fat mayonnaise was introduced in conjunction with the new sandwiches.  Along with the company's new BK Veggie sandwich, The Chicken Whopper Jr. version of the sandwich was lauded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as being one of the best nutritionally sound products sold by a fast food chain. Conversely, the CSPI decried the rest of the Burger King menu as being vastly unhealthy.