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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.
The rate of adult-onset diabetes has been increasing over the past few decades, according to a medical journal. The cause of this affliction is surely due to lack of proper nutrition; this point is uncontested. However, there could also be other causes. The statement assumes that if the government pushed food manufacturers to include more vitamins and minerals in the food they produce, diabetes would be reduced significantly in the adult population. This argument is flawed in several ways which are discussed in the points below.
First of all, there is are a few assumptions that were made in drawing this conclusion. One assumption is that people are getting most their food intake from food manufacturers' products which the government regulates, and the other assumption is that there are no other causes that may contribute to this increase in diabetes in the population.
It is very possible that many people obtain their food from organic sources, such as farmers markets. In this case, since the food is organic, the consumer doesn't want anything added to the source of their food. There is no evidence presented in the conclusion that states that these people are not affected by an increase in diabetes as well. Consequently, even if the government has more control over the food manufacturers, there may still be an increase in diabetes since not all people obtain their foods from regulated areas.
As previously mentioned, diabetes may have other originating sources as well. An increase of smoking, pollution and other contaminants in our atmosphere has also been on the rise in the past few decades. This can just as much have detremental affect on our immune systems and thus cause diabetes to appear more frequently. Since the rise of consumerism, people are also using a lot of products that contain all kinds of different chemicals which may seep into our bodies and also potentially cause diabetes and other diseases. Therefore, even if the government can control the foods that we eat, there are a lot of other sources which may also have lead to the above stated increase in diabetes.
Additionally, supplementing foods with more vitamins and minerals may have a negative affect on our immune system. This increase in artificial chemicals may lead to an even higher increase in diabetes as well as other diseases unless properly studied. There are many reports that indicate that an overdose in vitamins and minerals can have a catastrophic effect on our immune systems. Simply adding more vitamins and minerals may not help. For example, adding a lot of vitamin C to coca cola will not make it a healthy food option!
In conclusion, even though the increase in vitamins may sound like a good idea, it can actually have an even more negative affect on the population. There is no substantiated evidence that proves that a large portion of the population obtains their food from government controlled markets; this could be true but may also be false as discussed in this passage. Therefore, artificically adding vitamins and minerals to food may not work out in favor of the authors conclusion.