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The following appeared in an article- Review Please [#permalink]
10 May 2012, 11:03
ESSAY QUESTION: 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.
YOUR RESPONSE: The argument above claims that a lack of government control over quality of foods available at low prices is resulting in poor nutrition of the people and this further is leading to an increase in diabetes among adults.The argument further goes on to say that government should place more emphasis on quality of food manufactured to reduce the cases of diabetes among people.Though his claim might have some merit, the author presents a poorly reasoned argument based on several questionable assumptions and based on the evidence cited we cannot accept his argument as valid.
The primary issue with the authors line of reasoning lies in his unsubstantiated premise that lack of government control over quality of foods available at low p[rices is leading to poor nutrition among people.This is a very weak and unsupported argument as the claim does not demonstrate the causal connection between the two.To illustrate, poor nutrition can be the result of a persons dietary habits or can be due to quality of food available at high prices.In such a case poor nutrition is mapped to other factors instead of the quality of food available in the market.If the argument had provided evidence how government policies and incentives are leading to low quality food being manufactured the argument would have been a lot more convincing.
In addition, the author assumes that the increase in cases of diabetes is due to poor nutrition.This statement is a stretch and is not substantiated in any way.For example, diabetes can also be caused by hereditary or maybe the number of cases reported has increased rather than the actual increase in the number of people getting diabetes.The argument would have been a lot more clear if it explicitly stated how diabetes is increasing in the country.
finally , the author proposes that government place more emphasis on proper nutrition by implementing various stringent policies requiring food manufacturers to include more minerals and vitamins in their products in order to reduce the rate of adult onset diabetes.This assumption is very unconvincing as it does not state the purchasing habits of people in general.For example, there is a possibility that by including more minerals cost of the food might increase and people might not buy them and instead go for cheaper alternatives.This will further hamper the objective of the government.It further goes on to say that having products with good nutritional value will decrease the possibility of getting diabetes.Without convincing answers to these questions one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking than substantive evidence.
In sum, the argument is flawed due to the above mentioned reasons and to strengthen it the author needs to mention how government policies will influence the quality of manufactured food and how this will further decrease the number of diabetes related cases.Thus if the author truly hopes to change the minds of the readers he needs to largely restructure his argument and fix the flaws in his logic.
The following appeared in an article- Review Please
10 May 2012, 11:03