This is my first attempt to two AWA essays - both are timed (30mins each). Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all. ANALYSIS OF AN ARGUMENT
The following appeared in an article in a medical journal:
"The major increase in new cases of adult-onset diabetes during the past decade is the result of poor nutrition, which is itself the result of a lack of government control over the quality of foods available at low prices. If the government placed more emphasis on proper nutrition by requiring that food manufacturers include more vitamins and minerals in their products, the rate of adult-onset diabetes would be reduced significantly."
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.MY RESPONSE
The argument presents the issue of adult-onset diabetes that the number of new cases has increased in the past ten years. The author explores the potential cause of this major increase, attributing it to poor nutrition, which results from lack of government control over the quality of foods available at low prices. the author then draws the conclusion that government should mandate that food manufacturers include more Vitamins and minerals in their product, as a method of placing emphasis on the proper quality of foods and nutrition. In this way, the rate of adult-onset diabetes can be reduced significantly. This argument, despite its good intention, has the following several flaws that makes it vague and unconvincing.
First of all, the author readily assumes that adding more Vitamins and minerals into food products will decrease the rate of adult-onset diabetes. This assumption requires more discussion of the relationship between nutrition such as vitamins and minerals, and the risk of adult-onset diabetes. Does small number of vitamins and minerals lead to adult-onset diabetes? Not necessarily. And the author does not spend time on this information. Therefore, one could not conclude that more vitamins and minerals will decrease the risk of having adult-onset diabetes. Moreover, by simply stating "include more vitamins and minerals", the author does not quantify the specific amount of nutrition, and thus fails to consider the possibility of nutrition "over intake", which cause even result in negative effect on one's health condition. This negative effect obviously is not the intended effect of this mandate.
Second, the author also claims that by rate of adult-onset diabetes would be reduced significantly by means of government control over quality of foods. This claim fails to consider other possible causes of adult-onset diabetes such as genetic reasons and people's health awareness and knowledge of diabetes. Without exploring the information of the various causes of adult-onset diabetes, and what percentage of the disease is a result of poor nutrition, there is not way to predict the effectiveness of this government mandate, making the policy a wishful thinking.
Perhaps the most important flaw in this argument is that the author seemingly contradicts him/herself when it comes to the intention of this policy: the author claims that quality of foods available at low price needs to be controlled by the government. However, mandating additional nutrition would more likely than not to increase the costs of food products. This increase in costs is likely to lead to increase in prices. How would this increase in prices allow the more availability of foods at "low prices"? More information is certainly needed on this subject in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this policy.
In conclusion, this argument is unsubstantiated for a number of reasons. More concisely, without discussing the relationship between nutrition (specifically, vitamins and minerals) and adult-onset diabetes, and how this mandate might actually increase the prices of foods, the author's suggestion on government policy would not reach its goal.
musikalisch und Jazz