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# In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of

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In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of [#permalink]  28 Jun 2013, 01:02
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25% (medium)

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75% (02:20) correct 25% (01:44) wrong based on 110 sessions
In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of eighteen should consume at least a third of a cup of pure butter each day, the theory being that doing so would help lubricate the arteries and therefore provide better circulation. As recently as the 1950s, physicians recommended that a person smoke a cigarette following each meal in order to facilitate better digestion. Modern physicians would balk at such suggestions, while wholeheartedly recommending dietary habits such as two glasses of wine per day, a low carbohydrate, high-fat and protein diet, and the substitution of artificially sweetened sodas and teas over more natural alternatives.

Which of the following is the main point of the passage?

(A) The claims and suggestions of modern medicine may one day seem as faulty as those of the past seem to us today.
(B) Medicine today puts many more restrictions on an enjoyable lifestyle than it used to.
(C) Fewer people die from preventable disease now than in the past because of the many advancements of medical study.
(D) Cigarettes and high-fat foods such as butter may not be as unhealthy as doctors tell us they are.
(E) Modern physicians contradict themselves quite often.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised - Main Point Q [#permalink]  28 Jun 2013, 01:13
The passage gives us three facts:

1)In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of eighteen should consume at least a third of a cup of pure butter
2)In the 1950s, physicians recommended that a person smoke a cigarette following each meal
3) Modern physicians would balk at such suggestions, while wholeheartedly recommending dietary habits such as two glasses of wine per day and more stuff.

What is clear is that every decade or so the prevailing opinion changes. What seems to be true and a good practice may one day be considered a bad habit.

Which of the following is the main point of the passage?

(A) The claims and suggestions of modern medicine may one day seem as faulty as those of the past seem to us today.
CORRECT
(B) Medicine today puts many more restrictions on an enjoyable lifestyle than it used to.
We cannot say that by reading the passage, but most importantly this is not the point.
(C) Fewer people die from preventable disease now than in the past because of the many advancements of medical study.
We cannot say that by reading the passage.
(D) Cigarettes and high-fat foods such as butter may not be as unhealthy as doctors tell us they are.
We cannot say that by reading the passage.
(E) Modern physicians contradict themselves quite often.
This could be tempting, but the passage begins by stating what physicians said in 1920, contradicted by those in 1950: so modern physicians are not the only physicians that the passage talks about.
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised - Main Point Q [#permalink]  28 Jun 2013, 01:18
Yes, I picked the tempting one E
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised - Main Point Q [#permalink]  28 Jun 2013, 02:16
The passage draws upon the doctors' recommendations from 1920s to 1950s to suggest that modern day's physicians are no more different. Main point, if at all, should definitely bear context to the data given -

(A) The claims and suggestions of modern medicine may one day seem as faulty as those of the past seem to us today. -Each of the previous recommendations actually seem ridiculous, now that their implications are in general known. The modern day reco may well face the same fate. Right Answer

(B) Medicine today puts many more restrictions on an enjoyable lifestyle than it used to. - No discussion on lifestyle and the consequences of those eating habits. Out of Context.

(C) Fewer people die from preventable disease now than in the past because of the many advancements of medical study. - No mention of any preventable disease. Out of context!

(D) Cigarettes and high-fat foods such as butter may not be as unhealthy as doctors tell us they are. - It isn't conclusively proven that the modern physician's recommendations are actually correct! Not Convincing!

(E) Modern physicians contradict themselves quite often. - Consumption of butter in 1920's does not contradict that in 1950's. Comparing those recommendations with modern physician's advice doesn't contradict in its face. Invalid choice
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of [#permalink]  28 Jun 2013, 14:30
Expert's post
While main point questions are fairly rare on the current version of the GMAT it is important to note that hte first step in these types of questions can be to eliminate any answers that add information outside the scope of the paragraph. In this paragraph we know about past and present recomendations and that the past recomendations are now considered problematic.

Therefore looking at each of the answer choices and focusing on the subjects outside the argument you find: [quote=

(A) The claims and suggestions of modern medicine may one day seem as faulty as those of the past seem to us today. This answer focuses on the past/present relationship involved in the paragraph and therefore is the correct answer.
(B) Medicine today puts many more restrictions on an enjoyable lifestyle than it used to.we don't know how many restrictions were put today or in the past, we are only given a few examples
(C) Fewer people die from preventable disease now than in the past because of the many advancements of medical study.we are not given information about the number of people who die.
(D) Cigarettes and high-fat foods such as butter may not be as unhealthy as doctors tell us they are.while the article hints that doctors are sometimes wrong, there is noting in the argument that deals with the relative health, only that doctors have changed their mind
(E) Modern physicians contradict themselves quite often.[/quote] we aren't given any information as to whether modern physicians contradict themselves
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of [#permalink]  01 Jul 2013, 01:34
BeckyRobinsonTPR wrote:
While main point questions are fairly rare on the current version of the GMAT it is important to note that hte first step in these types of questions can be to eliminate any answers that add information outside the scope of the paragraph. In this paragraph we know about past and present recomendations and that the past recomendations are now considered problematic.

Therefore looking at each of the answer choices and focusing on the subjects outside the argument you find: [quote=

(A) The claims and suggestions of modern medicine may one day seem as faulty as those of the past seem to us today. This answer focuses on the past/present relationship involved in the paragraph and therefore is the correct answer.
(B) Medicine today puts many more restrictions on an enjoyable lifestyle than it used to.we don't know how many restrictions were put today or in the past, we are only given a few examples
(C) Fewer people die from preventable disease now than in the past because of the many advancements of medical study.we are not given information about the number of people who die.
(D) Cigarettes and high-fat foods such as butter may not be as unhealthy as doctors tell us they are.while the article hints that doctors are sometimes wrong, there is noting in the argument that deals with the relative health, only that doctors have changed their mind
(E) Modern physicians contradict themselves quite often.
we aren't given any information as to whether modern physicians contradict themselves[/quote]

Where is medicine mentioned in the argument?????
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of [#permalink]  01 Jul 2013, 14:07
Expert's post
It is difficult to determine how much you can assume on the GMAT but the test does ask you to use common meanings. The passage talks about doctors in the past and doctors now. It is reasonable to assume that doctors now has the same meaning as modern medicine, although it would be more precise to say modern doctors.
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Re: In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of   [#permalink] 01 Jul 2013, 14:07
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# In the 1920s, doctors advised that everyone over the age of

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