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Please rate my AWA :). (First attempt) - Sugar versus Asp. [#permalink]
30 Mar 2014, 15:26
Prompt: "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."
***I timed myself for this one, and I am copying and pasting what I wrote within the allocated time. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated - Thanks! =)***
AWA: The author’s above argument concludes that people who consume aspartame rather than sugar, will be unable to reach their dietary goals. However, this argument is flawed because it focuses only on the dietary consequences that aspartame have, fails to support that aspartame will not burn fat with evidence, and draws a conclusion based on unsupported statements in the argument. Due to these reasons, the argument remains weak in its current format.
Firstly, the argument begins by stating that aspartame is bad for you because it will contribute to weight gain, and not weight loss. By stating this, it is suggestive that all people should focus on weight loss, and that sugar will not have an impact on weight loss. The author fails to mention why people may choose aspartame over sugar. Some individuals may not be able to consume too much sugar because of a medical condition, such as diabetes. In this case, sugar may cause more harm than aspartame.
Secondly, the author makes a statement in the argument, that because consuming sugar after 45 minutes of exercise will cause one to burn fat, aspartame will not have this effect. However, the author fails to mention any studies or evidence in support of this claim. The author is claiming that aspartame has the opposite effect on burning fat than sugar, without any evidence or facts.
Thirdly, the author’s conclusion is very strong for an argument that fails to provide supporting evidence of its claims. Furthermore, to say that people who consume aspartame will not reach their dietary goals is quite strong. It assumes that those who are focused on losing weight are not attempting to lose weight through other methods, such as increased exercise, change in lifestyle, a reduced carbohydrate diet, etc. However, it is also possible that the author believes that consuming aspartame will override any benefit that people do to lose weight (ie: exercise), though this method of concluding the argument is also quite unbelievable.
The author could strengthen the argument by first introducing the argument by stating that aspartame may not be beneficial to those who are focusing on controlling their diet, instead of generalizing the statement to people as a whole. The author could also provide evidence from showing the differences or similarities in consuming aspartame or sugar after a work-out. Finally, the author could draw a more generalized conclusion based on the supporting evidence of the argument, rather than stating that aspartame will cause one to fail at reaching their dietary goals. However, as the argument currently stands, the author’s argument is flawed and weakened due to the lack of evidence it presents, and its corresponding extreme conclusions.