Please rate and comment : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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29 Jul 2012, 04:39
The following appeared in the health section of a magazine on trends and lifestyles:

“People who use the artificial sweetener aspartame are better off consuming sugar, since aspartame can actually contribute to weight gain rather than weight loss. For example, high levels of aspartame have been shown to trigger a craving for food by depleting the brain of a chemical that registers satiety, or the sense of being full. Furthermore, studies suggest that sugars, if consumed after at least 45 minutes of continuous exercise, actually enhance the body’s ability to burn fat. Consequently, those who drink aspartame-sweetened juices after exercise will also lose this calorie-burning benefit. Thus it appears that people consuming aspartame rather than sugar are unlikely to achieve their dietary goals.”

The article concludes that using the artificial sweetener, aspartame affects people's dietary goals because it contributes weight gain. It simply puts forward points such as high levels of aspartame, triggering the brain to deplete the sense of being full, taking aspartame sweetened juices affects exerciser's calorie burning ability after they do their exercises. These points alone cannot constitute as logical reasons to conclude that aspartame is non-beneficial. Most agreeably, the article does not talk about the people who use this sweetener, aspartame. Their dietary goal may be to increase or decrease weight which is not known. Also, only high level usage of the sweetener and its effect is mentioned. Moreover, its usage clubbed with sugar usage is only mentioned. Its standalone effect needs to be analyzed.

First, the nature of people who use this sweetener is not mentioned. It might be that this sweetener, aspartame is meant for people who wants to gain weight. Also it is mentioned that it affects their dietary goals. But the dietary goals may be is to increase their diets rather than to cut diets.

Second, the example talks about high level usage of the sweetener and its effects on the brain's activity. The question is when the usage is limited to certain levels. If all of them use this sweetener at a controlled level, may be they could get the actual benefit of the sweetner rather than that of sugar.

Finally, the point on exerciser's having juices with aspartame does not describe the implication, if it is taken alone. It simply explains the consequence when the juice is combined with an intake of sugar before. It may be that the effect could be positive if the juice is taken alone.

Because, the article has left several key points in the sweetener usage, it sounds non-persuasive. If the above mentioned points are analyzed and brought to light, the sweetener being beneficial or non-beneficial be well substantiated and also the article would be more convincing.
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