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# In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr

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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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[quote="eybrj2"]In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health problem, especially among children. In one region, agriculturists hope to improve nutrition by encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in betacarotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. The plan has good chances of success, since sweet potato is a staple of the region's diet and agriculture, and the varieties currently grown contain little beta-carotene.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction that the plan will succeed?

a) There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do.

b) The flesh of SPK004 differs from that of the currently cultivated sweet potatoes in colors and textures, so traditional foods would look somewhat different when prepared from SPK004.

c) For successful cultivation of SPK004, a soil significantly richer in nitrogen is needed than is needed for the varieties of sweet potato currently cultivated in the region.

d) There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is. Negating:There are some other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is.It does not weaken the conclusion actually.

e) The currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato contain no important nutrients that SPK004 lacks.
negating E;The currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato contain some important nutrients that SPK004 lacks.Hence introduction of new SPK 004 may lead to other nutrient deficiency among children.So this plan is not a good option and E will be the correct answer.
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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CR bible says if confused b/w two choices on assumption ques use assumption negation technique . .here only one was contender just negate it and check if it weakens . yes E when negated does weaken so it is answer.
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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PUNEETSCHDV wrote:
CR bible says if confused b/w two choices on assumption ques use assumption negation technique . .here only one was contender just negate it and check if it weakens . yes E when negated does weaken so it is answer.

Although its not an assumption question , its a strengthen question and the technique mentioned in Powerscore CR bible is for assumption questions only, I am wondering how come the technique works here
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
mikemcgarry wrote:
naruphanp wrote:
In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health problem, especially among children. In one region, agriculturists hope to improve nutrition by encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in betacarotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. The plan has good chances of success, since sweet potato is a staple of the region's diet and agriculture, and the varieties currently grown contain little beta-carotene.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction that the plan will succeed?
A. There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do.
B. The flesh of SPK004 differs from that of the currently cultivated sweet potatoes in colors and textures, so traditional foods would look somewhat different when prepared from SPK004.
C. For successful cultivation of SPK004, a soil significantly richer in nitrogen is needed than is needed for the varieties of sweet potato currently cultivated in the region.
D. There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is.
E. The currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato contain no important nutrients that SPK004 lacks.

Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this.

In the prompt:
Sentence #1 frames the situation and states the problem that needs to be resolved --- a vitamin-A deficiency
Sentence #2 presents a plan designed to solve the problem. Th
Sentence #3 present some support for the plan.

The plan's success depends on assumptions, such as:
a) the SPK004 sweet potato will grow successfully there
b) the folks there will be willing to plant & eat the SPK004 sweet potato instead of their traditional sweet potatoes.
c) nutritionally, nothing else would be lost in a switch from traditional sweet potatoes to the SPK004 sweet potato

OK, so we want answer that will strengthen the argument. Often on the GMAT CR, if the question is asking you to strengthen the argument, two or three of the incorrect answers will be weakeners. Conversely, when the CR asks you to weaken the argument, two or three of the incorrect answers will strengthen the argument. Always be on the lookout for incorrect answers that do the opposite of what you were asked to do. Let's look at these answer choices.

A. There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do.
Well, if there are other vegetables currently grown that have more beta-carotene, then it would seem the folks there are already getting enough beta-carotene, and for some reason, they are not properly converting it to vitamin-A. It's unclear what the problem would be, but certainly adding a new sweet potato with more beta-carotene wouldn't necessarily solve anything. The plan will not solve the problem. This answer is a weakener, so it's incorrect.

B. The flesh of SPK004 differs from that of the currently cultivated sweet potatoes in colors and textures, so traditional foods would look somewhat different when prepared from SPK004.
When food is different looking --- especially different in both color and texture --- it can be hard to get folks set in their ways to try it. If a large proportion of the folks in these places either decide not to try the new sweet potato or try it and decide they don't like it, then many people will not eat it and will not get the benefit of the beta-carotene, and thus the vitamin-A deficiency will continue. The plan will not solve the problem. This answer is a weakener, so it's incorrect.

C. For successful cultivation of SPK004, a soil significantly richer in nitrogen is needed than is needed for the varieties of sweet potato currently cultivated in the region.
Hmmm. If the SPK004 sweet potato needs soil much richer in nitrogen, it sounds as if it's at least possible that it won't grow particularly well in these environments. If the farmers there can't grow it well or at all, then it won't replace the traditional sweet potatoes, and no one will benefit. The plan will not solve the problem. This answer is a weakener, so it's incorrect.

D. There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is.
This is a particularly interesting one. We already can infer that the SPK004 sweet potato has more beta-carotene than the the traditional sweet potatoes in this region. That's the comparison that is meaningful in this argument. This answer choice provides the added information --- the SPK004 sweet potato also contains more beta-carotene than any other variety of sweet potato anywhere else --- China, Uganda, New Zealand, Alabama, etc. Well, that's interesting, but it's not particularly relevant. We already know the important comparison ---- the SPK004 sweet potato vs. sweet potatoes traditionally grown in these parts of South America. That's the part that is pertinent to the argument. The fact that the SPK004 sweet potato also contains more beta-carotene than any other variety of sweet potato in other places --- strictly speaking, this is irrelevant to the argument. Therefore, it is not a strengthener. This answer is incorrect.

E. The currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato contain no important nutrients that SPK004 lacks.
Well, we have just nuked the first four answers, so we hope this one works! Fortunately, this is almost identical to assumption (c) above. So, in switching from the traditional sweet potatoes to the SPK004 sweet potato, these folks will gain beta-carotene and will not lose anything other nutrient. This is a strengthener --- in fact, it's one of the assumptions on which the plan is based.
If we were to deny this and assert the opposite of (E) --- in switching from the traditional sweet potatoes to the SPK004 sweet potato, these folks would beta-carotene but lose some other important nutrient --- then, that would weaken the argument, because it seems like the plan would just replace one problem (a vitamin-A deficiency) with another problem (a deficiency of some other nutrient). Denying (E) weakens the argument, which is further evidence that it's a strengthener.
For all these reasons, (E) is the best answer.

Notice that one strategy that helped significantly in the analysis of this question was finding assumptions before we approached the answer choices. That won't always work, but it works enough that it's a useful strategy. See this post for more on that strategy.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike

Hi,

Thanks for posting such good explanation however I still have some doubt regarding answer choice A which states "There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do". This shows that although there are other varieties that contain more beta carotene , since they are not staple food , they are not consumed in enough quantity by the people living there ,so only by making changes to staple food ,we can cure the Vit A deficiency, hence all the more reason to cultivate a new variety of sweet potato which is the staple food of that region. I have use the above stated logic while selecting this answer choice, please help me understand why this is incorrect, will really appreciate your help.

Thanks
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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megha_2709 wrote:
Hi,

Thanks for posting such good explanation however I still have some doubt regarding answer choice A which states "There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do". This shows that although there are other varieties that contain more beta carotene , since they are not staple food , they are not consumed in enough quantity by the people living there ,so only by making changes to staple food ,we can cure the Vit A deficiency, hence all the more reason to cultivate a new variety of sweet potato which is the staple food of that region. I have use the above stated logic while selecting this answer choice, please help me understand why this is incorrect, will really appreciate your help.

Thanks
Megha

Dear Megha,
I'm happy to respond.

In this CR problem, we are looking for for a strengthener. This means, we want something that, by itself, would strengthen the argument, not a statement that would be consistent with something else strengthening the argument.

A. There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do.
Are these other vegetables also staple foods? We don't know.
Do the folks in these regions know about and eat these other vegetables? We don't know.

IF these folks in these parts of South America do know about and eat these other vegetables, then it means they are getting more than enough beta carotene already, and for some genetic reasons, their bodies are not properly converting it to vitamin A. That's a very big problem! Bringing in some new sweet potato that's also high in beta carotene will not even begin to address this serious genetic issue. In this case, the statement would be a big weakener.

IF these folks in these parts of South America do not know about and eat these other vegetables, then they are not getting beta carotene from those even though theoretically they could. Would encourage the folks there to eat these native vegetables be a better idea than introducing a new sweet potato? That's unclear. In this case, whether these other vegetables were present or not doesn't seem to impact the agriculturists' plan at all.

Notice that, in the second case, it certainly could be possible that the agriculturists' plan might work, but there's nothing here that is strengthening the idea that it would work. Being consistent with the success of the plan is not the same as strengthening the argument for the plan.

I think you are assuming that the agriculturists' plan in the prompt argument is definitely going to work. You can't simply assume that. It seems like a promising plan, but there are dozens of factors that could make it not work. We don't know. In GMAT CR, we have to question everything! Given that this argument is fragile, not necessarily a sure thing, then (A) provides absolutely no information that makes it more of a sure thing. One potential problem that could derail the plan would be if (E) were false, so knowing that (E) is true definitively fixes one potential problem. By contrast, if (A) were false, it would make very little difference to the argument: it certainly would not be a problem.

Does all this make sense?
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
Understanding the passage
In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health problem, especially among children.
• There is a deficiency of Vitamin-A in parts of South America.
• This deficiency of vitamin-A is prevalent among children.
In one region, agriculturists are attempting to improve nutrition by encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.
• Agriculturists in one region are attempting something.
• They are trying to combat Vitamin A deficiency by improving nutrition.
• For this agriculturists are encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004.
• The new variety of SPK004 is rich in beta-carotene.
• And the body changes the beta-carotene into Vitamin-A.
The plan has good chances of success, since sweet potato is a staple of the region's diet and agriculture, and the varieties currently grown contain little beta-carotene.
• The agriculturists' plan has an excellent chance to succeed.
• Two reasons for the likelihood of success:
o Sweet potato is a dominant portion of the region's diet.
o The current variety of sweet potato contains little beta-carotene.
Conclusion: Agriculturists plan to encourage farmers to grow SKP004 to tackle Vitamin-A deficiency in certain parts of South America.
Pre-thinking

Strengthen Framework
What information will help us believe more in the conclusion?
Conclusion: Agriculturists plan to encourage farmers to grow SKP004 to tackle Vitamin-A deficiency.
Given that:
(i) There is a deficiency of Vitamin-A among children in some regions of South America.
(ii) Agriculturists are encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004, and this new sweet potato will likely combat the deficiency problem.
(iii) SPK004 is rich in beta-carotene.
(iv) SPK004 is a staple crop and diet of the region.
(v) The current variety of sweet potato has little beta-carotene in them.

Thought Process
From the information given in the passage, we can understand that the environmental conditions for growing the current variety of sweet potato are suitable in the region.
Also, since the current variety of sweet potato is a staple diet in that region, which means people of that region like to eat it. Thus, we can understand that the cultivation of the current variety of sweet potato is sufficient to form a staple diet.
Strengthener 1
The author does not explicitly mention anything about the environmental conditions required for growing SPK004. If the environmental conditions required for cultivating both types of sweet potato are the same, then the agriculturists’ plan has the likelihood of succeeding.
Therefore, a statement that indicates that the environmental conditions required for cultivating both types of sweet potato are the same. This would indicate that the environmental conditions for growing the new variety of sweet potato SPK004 are also suitable in that region.
This statement would support the agriculturists’ plan.
Strengthener 2
The author also does not mention whether the taste of both types of sweet potato will be the same. What if the taste of SPK004 is different from the current variety of sweet potato, and if the people of the regions do not like the taste of SPK004, therefore do not consume a sufficient quantity of SPK004 to fulfill their Vitamin-A deficiency?
Then the agriculturists' plan will not succeed.
Thus, a statement that indicates that the taste of the new variety of sweet potato is the same or better than the current variety of sweet potato would lend support to the agriculturists' plan.
(A) The growing conditions required by the varieties of sweet potato currently cultivated in the region are conditions in which SPK004 can flourish.
• The statement in this choice in line with our pre-thinking assumption 1. Thus, this is the correct answer choice.

(B) The flesh of SPK004 differs from that of the currently cultivated sweet potatoes in color and texture, so traditional foods would look somewhat different when prepared from SPK004.
• We have no information to say that the look of the food will affect the taste or not. This option choice is irrelevant and is the incorrect choice.

(C) There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is.
• This information is already given in the passage. The currently grown variety of sweet potato does not contain much beta-carotene. Also, a strengthener must bring in new information. Therefore, this choice is incorrect.

(D) The varieties of sweet potato currently cultivated in the region contain some important nutrients that are lacking in SPK004. CORRECT

• This choice gives a statement that would harm the agriculturists' plan because this statement implies that substituting the current variety of sweet potato with SPK004 will not be beneficial; therefore, this choice acts as a weakener and is not the correct choice.

(E) There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do
• This option does not tell us whether the vegetables contain more beta-carotene than the new variety of sweet potato. Maybe even the beta carotene in the vegetables is not sufficient to tackle the problem of vitamin A deficiency. Thus, this choice is also incorrect.
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
Type: Strengthen/support the plan.

Plan: Use the sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in betacarotene to improve nutrition.

(A) There are other vegetables currently grown in the region that contain more beta-carotene than the currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato do.
- this would support the contention that one should not implement the plan.

(B) The flesh of SPK004 differs from that of the currently cultivated sweet potatoes in colors and textures, so traditional foods would look somewhat different when prepared from SPK004.
- (B) provides another reason why one may not choose the SPK004. Hence, (B) actually weakens the plan, not support it.

(C) For successful cultivation of SPK004, a soil significantly richer in nitrogen is needed than is needed for the varieties of sweet potato currently cultivated in the region.
- (C) provides another reason why one may not choose the SPK004. Hence, (C) actually weakens the plan, not support it.

(D) There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is. - From the passage, we do know that 'sweet potato' is a staple that is used frequently. So, what (D) essentially does is that it rules out any other possibility of a sweet potato crop having a richer concentration of beta-carotene. This would advocate for the need to use the SPK004. Hence, (D) supports the plan. Therefore, (D) is the right answer choice.

(E) The currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato contain no important nutrients that SPK004 lacks.
- this essentially says that SPK004 is similar to the presently grown sweet potato crops. If so, why would someone go for a new crop if his/her needs are met by the crops that are already existent?
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
Something that confuses me: What if higher concentrations of betacarotene make plant growth more difficult in this region? Thus, the presence of plants already grown in this area with higher concentrations of betacarotene suggests that the new sweet potato variety will be able to grow as well, no? This would seem relevant to the success of the plan.
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
OldRedOne wrote:
Something that confuses me: What if higher concentrations of betacarotene make plant growth more difficult in this region? Thus, the presence of plants already grown in this area with higher concentrations of betacarotene suggests that the new sweet potato variety will be able to grow as well, no? This would seem relevant to the success of the plan.

you are right in thinking. But if you connect your thought with the conclusion, you would have a question in mind? So is nitrogen in soil is enough, less or more?
As no information is given about this quantity, so it be wrong to assume that as it requires higher nitrogen then it weakens the conclusion. Actually we don't know , so I considered this option as irrelevant.

Another way to avoid distraction:
Stick to conclusion ( conclusion is like a parachute that would help us to do soft-landing)
So with the thought: : plan of growing SPK004 would be successful "
While reading all options, I would only remember this thought .

when I reached to C:
If nitrogen could be issue , certainly it doesn't strengthen the conclusion. Throw this option right away.

U could find more time in D vs E , options that are close and that needs some thought to reject one and choose other.

I hope it helps:)
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
Hi Experts,

Here is a little something that appears confusing to me :

conclusion 1 - "agriculturists could grow SPK004 to promote overall health (curb all other Vit deficiencies including that of Vit A) "
conclusion 2- "agriculturists could grow SPK004 in SA to curb Vit A deficiency in SA"

If conclusion 2 is correct then - Option D " There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is" - appears to be a better choice , since , negating the sentence "If there is another variety of Sweet Potato in SA that is richer in SPK004 than the proposed variety is , the proposal to cultivate this new variety for the purpose of curbing Vit A deficiency will be useless, Instead they could promote the use of already present variety "

Now, If conclusion 1 is correct then - Option E will be better, as the proposed method would curb the deficiency of Vit A , but may induce some other kind of deficiency.

Please suggest, because, GMAT generally requires us to focus on the exact conclusion stated by the argument and ignores any other derived meaning from the conclusion.
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
I have one doubt .
If option B falls , it means people wont be able to differentiate between the new and old sweet potato . For people to get vitamin A , they should be able to recognise SPK004 variant . B is a strengthener.

E on the other side sheds light on cons of using SPK004 . In the argument we are only bothered about Vitamin A .
People will for sure get Vitamin A and for this they should be able to differentiate between both the old and the new sweet potatoes. If they don't get other vitamins that might be missing in SPK004 is not the arguments main concern.

Can someone assist here please ?
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
Harshjha001 wrote:
I have one doubt .
If option B falls , it means people wont be able to differentiate between the new and old sweet potato . For people to get vitamin A , they should be able to recognise SPK004 variant . B is a strengthener.

E on the other side sheds light on cons of using SPK004 . In the argument we are only bothered about Vitamin A .
People will for sure get Vitamin A and for this they should be able to differentiate between both the old and the new sweet potatoes. If they don't get other vitamins that might be missing in SPK004 is not the arguments main concern.

Can someone assist here please ?

Regarding B, I had the same thinking. Can someone please explain ?
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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Pranjal3107 wrote:
Harshjha001 wrote:
I have one doubt .
If option B falls , it means people wont be able to differentiate between the new and old sweet potato . For people to get vitamin A , they should be able to recognise SPK004 variant . B is a strengthener.

E on the other side sheds light on cons of using SPK004 . In the argument we are only bothered about Vitamin A .
People will for sure get Vitamin A and for this they should be able to differentiate between both the old and the new sweet potatoes. If they don't get other vitamins that might be missing in SPK004 is not the arguments main concern.

Can someone assist here please ?

Regarding B, I had the same thinking. Can someone please explain ?

Pranjal3107, how do you know that the flesh is the only thing that can help differentiate the SPK004 from other varieties? Can't a standard/regulated label differentiate between the 2 varieties? Moreover, if the dishes look different than the traditional ones, it is likely that the people will not buy SPK004 (you have to realise that people are people and not robots - customs, tastes, preferences, traditions etc might dictate their food choices and they might not end up picking the the healthiest option).

Option B is a mild weakener, but it is definitely not a strengthener.
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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eybrj2 wrote:
In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health problem, especially among children. In one region, agriculturists hope to improve nutrition by encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in betacarotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. The plan has good chances of success, since sweet potato is a staple of the region's diet and agriculture, and the varieties currently grown contain little beta-carotene.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction that the plan will succeed?

(D) There are no other varieties of sweet potato that are significantly richer in beta-carotene than SPK004 is.

(E) The currently cultivated varieties of sweet potato contain no important nutrients that SPK004 lacks.

Let me talk about options D and E.

Before that, let's talk about the plan and the goal it aspired to achieve.

Plan: Encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in betacarotene
Goal: To improve the nutrition of the people in the region

Let's say that my plan is to do X to reach a goal Y. Will my plan be weakened if you say that there is a better way to get to Y?

No. Such a statement will have no impact on my plan as long as X lead to Y. My plan CANNOT be weakened by presenting better ways to get to Y. Why? Because I never said that X is the best way to get to Y. So, the presence of better ways to get to Y has no impact on my plan.

Now, if I had said that X is the best way to get to Y, then my statement could be weakened by saying that there are better ways to get to Y.

In this given question, option D is eliminating other better ways to achieve our goal. However, that has no impact on the plan for the same reasoning as above.

*******

Now, let me talk about option E and explain the concept of the scope of an argument by tweaking the passage a little. Let's say I change the passage a little as follows:

In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health problem, especially among children. In one region, agriculturists hope to improve the intake of Vitamin-A by encouraging farmers to plant a new variety of sweet potato called SPK004 that is rich in betacarotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. The plan has good chances of success, since sweet potato is a staple of the region's diet and agriculture, and the varieties currently grown contain little beta-carotene.

In this case, option E will be irrelevant and thus incorrect. The plan here is not concerned with other nutrients. As long as the intake of Vitamin-A increases, the plan is successful irrespective of what happens to the intake of other nutrients. Are you surprised?

Don't be.

Here's an article that explores this idea in detail using many official questions: https://gmatclub.com/forum/what-defines ... 43346.html
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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Re: In parts of South America, vitamin-A deficiency is a serious health pr [#permalink]
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