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Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly

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Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 03:03
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Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly increased for more than three decades. To fight the rise in obesity, Americans must limit their hours of television viewing.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s conclusion?

(A) A person burns more calories while watching television than while sleeping.
(B) Over the last 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of fast food restaurants in America.
(C) Americans spend most of their television time watching sports events rather than cooking shows.
(D) Television viewing in Japan has also increased over the past three decades.
(E) Studies show that the number of television commercials that promote junk food has risen over the past ten years.

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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 03:54
Question Type: Weaken

Main Point: Reduce number of television viewing hours to fight obesity.
Assumption: Watching TV leads to obesity

(A) A person burns more calories while watching television than while sleeping. - Incorrect. Calories burnt while watching TV is compared with the calories burnt while sleeping. But we do not know whether the calories burnt is sufficient to reduce obesity.

(B) Over the last 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of fast food restaurants in America. - Correct. This option cites an alternate cause for the increase in obesity.

(C) Americans spend most of their television time watching sports events rather than cooking shows. - Incorrect. Irrelevant.

(D) Television viewing in Japan has also increased over the past three decades. - Incorrect. Irrelevant.

(E) Studies show that the number of television commercials that promote junk food has risen over the past ten years. - Incorrect. Opposite. This strengthens the fact that television viewing must be avoided to check the rise in obesity.

Answer: B
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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 09:59
IMO B
This option gives us a different reason for raise in obesity.
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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 01:30
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I don't understand how OA weakens the argument.

Let, thirty years ago, Americans watched television 3 hours per day, but 99% of these Americans did not take fast food. Now Americans watched television 5 hours per day and still 99% of these Americans do not take fast food. Nevertheless, they become obese.

On the otherhand, the number of fast food restaurants might be increased because of increased volume of consumption by the remaining 1% Americans.

So, the increase of number of fast food restaurants does not weaken the argument.
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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 04:32
As per my understanding,
The argument links rise in obesity to the number of hours of TV viewing in America.
Since we need to weaken this link, we can provide an alternate explanation for the rise in Obesity

Option B (Over the last 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of fast food restaurants in America)
provides that alternate explanation, and in turn weakens the link of Obesity to TV Viewing.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 04:51
The argument links rise in obesity to the number of hours of TV viewing in America. But, how does option B link rise in obesity to the number of fast food restaurants in America without assuming that all people increase their intake of fast food, a trend may not be true according to my previous post?

Over the last 30 years, a lot of things happened in the world. I presume all of these are not linked to the rise in obesity.

Am I correct :?:
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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 10:18
Mahmud6 wrote:
The argument links rise in obesity to the number of hours of TV viewing in America. But, how does option B link rise in obesity to the number of fast food restaurants in America without assuming that all people increase their intake of fast food, a trend may not be true according to my previous post?

Over the last 30 years, a lot of things happened in the world. I presume all of these are not linked to the rise in obesity.

Am I correct :?:


Hi Bro, I am no expert but let me give it a try

First and most important thing: If GMAT question says X is responsible for Y, then its ABSOLUTE. Nothing else can cause Y other then X.

Also, if the GMAT says in past 30 years lot of restaurants opened, it means that STRICTLY only restaurants increased. We do not presume that people started exercising or dieting. The option "B" is just giving us an alternate assumption that restaurants caused the obesity rather than televisions.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 02:02
I am really confused b/w B and E - both lead to weakening, though E weakens more. Expert opinions please on how to solve this.
One the first things for CR which I learnt was that correlation doesn't mean causation.
So, if there is a spike in TV watching and spike in obesity; it doesn't mean one causes the other. Similarly, for B as well, rise in the number of fast food chains doesn't mean it directly causes obesity.
E however, says there is a rise in the number of junk food commercials - this means even if they do limit or change TV watching behavior; if there is a link between the between watching TV and buying junk food.
Please explain the flaw in my reasoning in order to understand the OA.
Re: Average hours of television viewing per American have rapidly   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2017, 02:02
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