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# In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease

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Updated on: 14 Oct 2012, 16:32
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In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease in the United States. There is no universally accepted standard for obesity, defined generally as an excess of adipose tissue, but a common rule of thumb classifies people who are more than 20 percent above their desirable weight as obese. By this measure, 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in America are obese. Although studies show that few of these people will ever recover fully and permanently from the disease, the incidence of obesity in future generations can be reduced.

Adipose tissue is a triumph of evolution. Fat yields 9 calories per gram, while protein, like carbohydrates, yields only 4 calories per gram. Fat also contains much less water than protein does. Therefore, fat is much more efficient for storing excess energy than is protein. Primitive humans, with uncertain food sources, had a great need for excess fat, and their bodies adapted accordingly. Modern humans, with a predictable food supply and a sedentary life-style, are burdened by this vestige of evolution. Although they need some adipose tissue to provide insulation and protect internal organs from injury, modern humans need much less than their primitive ancestors did.

In an attempt to shed excess adipose tissue, many Americans turn from one fad diet to another, and a billion-dollar diet industry has grown up to aid them in their efforts. Nevertheless, the five-year cure rate for obesity is very low. In fact, by comparison, cancer is more curable. The reasons for this are psychological as well as physiological.
From a physical standpoint, losing a pound or two a week for a few weeks is not difficult because most of the loss is in the form of protein and water, and protein carries four times its weight in water. However, protein is also the only source of nitrogen in the body, and when the body loses too much nitrogen, it acts to correct the imbalance by excreting less nitrogen than it takes in. Hence beyond a certain point additional weight loss must come from adipose tissue, which, because of its compactness, takes longer to shed. The body’s tendency to return to nitrogen balance and to protect its energy reserves can be so strong that dieters may stop losing or even gain weight while still expending more calories than they ingest. As a result, they frequently suffer not only from hunger, weakness, and a decreased metabolic rate, but also from depression and inactivity, all of which lead them to abandon their diets. Probably because of numerous psychological factors as well as physiological factors such as increased lipid synthesis, they then tend to regain weight rapidly.
While vigorous attempts to reduce obesity in America should be aimed at all affected, the most successful efforts are likely to be those directed toward children. If the advertising and food industries stop trying to sell high-calorie, nutritionally deficient food to children, and if parents understand that the feeding patterns they impose on their children can determine the adolescent and adult eating habits those children will develop, the future generation may not be as fat as ours is.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) explain why prevention is the best defense against obesity
(B) criticize the food and advertising industries for encouraging bad eating habits and thus contributing to the prevalence of obesity in the United States
(C) recruit volunteers for a national crusade against obesity
(D) discourage dependency on fad diets as a method for losing weight
(E) argue that obesity is a genetic disorder that is virtually impossible to cure

2. By the rule of thumb mentioned in the passage, which of the following would be considered obese?
I. A 25-pound toddler whose desirable weight is 20 pounds
II. A large-framed woman weighting 140 pounds whose desirable weight for her height is between 112 and 120 pounds
III. A 175-pound man who was 25 pounds over his desirable weight and then gained an additional 10 pounds
(A) II only
(B) III only
(C) I and III only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?
(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

4. According to the passage, modern humans do not need to store as much fat as primitive humans because
(A) modern humans work fewer hours than their primitive forebears did
(B) the diet of modern humans is higher in protein than was the diet of primitive humans
(C) modern humans eat more regularly than primitive humans did
(D) primitive humans had to insulate their bodies from the cold whereas modern humans do not
(E) the food consumed by modern humans has a higher nutritional value than that consumed by primitive humans

5. All of the following statements about protein are supported by the passage EXCEPT:
(A) Gram for gram, foods that are high in protein are lower in calories than foods that are high in fat.
(B) The body gets all of its nitrogen from protein.
(C) Nine grams of protein yield the same number of calories as 4 grams of fat.
(D) Protein is not converted into adipose tissue.
(E) Five grams of protein carry 20 grams of water.

6. The author mentions that “cancer is more curable” (line 27) than obesity in order to
(A) underscore the point that obesity is the leading disease in the United States
(B) support the conclusion that it is easier to keep people from becoming obese than it is to cure them once they are
(C) discourage obese people from trying to lose weight
(D) demonstrate by analogy that more money should be spent on obesity research
(E) refute the contention that the causes of obesity are purely physiological

7. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
(A) What percent of the total population in the United States is obese?
(B) What psychological factors cause people to gain weight rapidly once they go off a diet?
(C) What function does nitrogen perform in the body?
(D) How is an individual’s desirable eight determined?
(E) If a snack bar contains 130 calories and 4 grams of fat, what percentage of the calories in the bar come from fat?

8. The author mentions all of the following as factors that cause obese people to abandon diets EXCEPT
(A) depression
(B) increased lipid synthesis
(C) a negative nitrogen balance
(D) enervation
(E) a lower metabolic rate

9. Which of the following, if it could be demonstrated, would most strengthen the claim that the feeding patterns of children “can determine the adolescent and adult eating habits those children will develop” (lines 55-56)?
(A) The incidence of obesity in children whose parents are both obese is 80 percent.
(B) Thirty-six percent of infants who are obese during their first half year of life are also overweight between the ages of 20 and 36.
(C) Excessive weight gain during the teen years can set the stage for a lifetime battle against the bulge.
(D) Up to 80 percent of youngsters who are fat as 5-year-olds end up fat as adults.
(E) The average child witnesses more than 15,000 commercials a year for snacks,candy, and soft drinks laden with fat, sugar, and calories.

Originally posted by Bull78 on 07 Oct 2012, 17:57.
Last edited by Bull78 on 14 Oct 2012, 16:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2012, 10:26
1
Bull78 - Do u have an OE for these questions. Could you please post them; it will be really helpful.

also Q 2 and 6 are the same. You have marked different answers "C and 6B for the same question. pls check.

2. The author mentions that “cancer is more curable” (line 27) than obesity in order to
(A) underscore the point that obesity is the leading disease in the United States
(B) support the conclusion that it is easier to keep people from becoming obese than it is to cure them once they are
(C) discourage obese people from trying to lose weight
(D) demonstrate by analogy that more money should be spent on obesity research
(E) refute the contention that the causes of obesity are purely physiological

6. The author mentions that “cancer is more curable” (line 27) than obesity in order to
(A) underscore the point that obesity is the leading disease in the United States
(B) support the conclusion that it is easier to keep people from becoming obese than it is to cure them once they are
(C) discourage obese people from trying to lose weight
(D) demonstrate by analogy that more money should be spent on obesity research
(E) refute the contention that the causes of obesity are purely physiological

3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?

(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

Are u sure the answer is E? Muscle are not mentioned in the passage at all!!!!!
I believe B should be right it is clearly supported by the para1

5. All of the following statements about protein are supported by the passage EXCEPT:

(A) Gram for gram, foods that are high in protein are lower in calories than foods that are high in fat.
(B) The body gets all of its nitrogen from protein.
(C) Nine grams of protein yield the same number of calories as 4 grams of fat.
(D) Protein is not converted into adipose tissue.
(E) Five grams of protein carry 20 grams of water.

Passage says 1 gram fat gives 9 calories and 1 gram protein 4 calories then how can be C be supported by the passage?
Also if u accept statement 1 to be true then it goes with put saying statement c cannot be true!
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2012, 16:34
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Jp27 wrote:
Bull78 - Do u have an OE for these questions. Could you please post them; it will be really helpful.

also Q 2 and 6 are the same. You have marked different answers "C and 6B for the same question. pls check.

2. The author mentions that “cancer is more curable” (line 27) than obesity in order to
(A) underscore the point that obesity is the leading disease in the United States
(B) support the conclusion that it is easier to keep people from becoming obese than it is to cure them once they are
(C) discourage obese people from trying to lose weight
(D) demonstrate by analogy that more money should be spent on obesity research
(E) refute the contention that the causes of obesity are purely physiological

6. The author mentions that “cancer is more curable” (line 27) than obesity in order to
(A) underscore the point that obesity is the leading disease in the United States
(B) support the conclusion that it is easier to keep people from becoming obese than it is to cure them once they are
(C) discourage obese people from trying to lose weight
(D) demonstrate by analogy that more money should be spent on obesity research
(E) refute the contention that the causes of obesity are purely physiological

3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?

(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

Are u sure the answer is E? Muscle are not mentioned in the passage at all!!!!!
I believe B should be right it is clearly supported by the para1

5. All of the following statements about protein are supported by the passage EXCEPT:

(A) Gram for gram, foods that are high in protein are lower in calories than foods that are high in fat.
(B) The body gets all of its nitrogen from protein.
(C) Nine grams of protein yield the same number of calories as 4 grams of fat.
(D) Protein is not converted into adipose tissue.
(E) Five grams of protein carry 20 grams of water.

Passage says 1 gram fat gives 9 calories and 1 gram protein 4 calories then how can be C be supported by the passage?
Also if u accept statement 1 to be true then it goes with put saying statement c cannot be true!

JP27

Just edited the second question. Thanks for your comment.

Sorry I don't have official explainations, is part of the RC 117 passages.

Cheers
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 00:47
Quote:
3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?

(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

Are u sure the answer is E? Muscle are not mentioned in the passage at all!!!!!
I believe B should be right it is clearly supported by the para1

Jp27,

E is the correct answer choice.

The question type is a Strengthen type question. Hence new information not necessarily wrong. E states the reason as 'muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat'. This is supported by the passage where it is implied that calorie loss is needed to lose weight.

If we proceed by POE, all other choices are nonsensical.

B is eliminated for the reason that

Quote:
but a common rule of thumb classifies people who are more than 20 percent above their desirable weight as obese. By this measure, 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in America are obese.

the method of evaluating is based strictly on the percentage relative to the desirable weight. Hence actual weight comparison is illogical.
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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19 May 2013, 11:18
took tiring 15 min. to complete still got one wrong.

I think answer of the question 8 must be D. Please shed some light.
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30 Jun 2013, 01:51
atalpanditgmat wrote:
took tiring 15 min. to complete still got one wrong.

I think answer of the question 8 must be D. Please shed some light.

it's a hard question but,

I don't think you are correct because:

The author mentions all of the following as factors that cause obese people to abandon diets EXCEPT
(A) depression - mention at the quote
(B) increased lipid synthesis-correct answer : "Probably because of numerous psychological factors as well as physiological factors such as increased lipid synthesis, they then tend to regain weight rapidly." the author mention this factor as a regain weight factor not a lose diet factor.
(C) a negative nitrogen balance - "However, protein is also the only source of nitrogen in the body, and when the body loses too much nitrogen, it acts to correct the imbalance by excreting less nitrogen than it takes in. Hence beyond a certain point additional weight loss must come from adipose tissue, which, because of its compactness, takes longer to shed"
(D) enervation - mention by the quote
(E) a lower metabolic rate - mention by the quote

"As a result, they frequently suffer not only from hunger, weakness(d- enervation), and a decreased metabolic rate(e - lower metabolic rate), but also from depression(depression) and inactivity, all of which lead them to abandon their diets"
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2013, 20:22
Hi Can you provide OE for Q3.

3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?
(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

I chose A.
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30 Jun 2013, 23:22
cumulonimbus wrote:
Hi Can you provide OE for Q3.

3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?
(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

I chose A.

well A is obviously not the answer cause there is no place in the passage that the author is talking about "woman carry great percentage of fat"

I , to be frankly chose B from the same reasoning other people in the group chose " but a common rule of thumb classifies people who are more than 20 percent above their desirable weight as obese. By this measure, 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in America are obese"

but that's one hell of a tricky question with no base in the passage.
The only base for E is the quote : "From a physical standpoint, losing a pound or two a week for a few weeks is not difficult because most of the loss is in the form of protein and water, and protein carries four times its weight in water. However, protein is also the only source of nitrogen in the body, and when the body loses too much nitrogen, it acts to correct the imbalance by excreting less nitrogen than it takes in. Hence beyond a certain point additional weight loss must come from adipose tissue, which, because of its compactness, takes longer to shed"

From the quote you can reason that more muscle - equal more fat lose and that may be the difference between men and women.
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2013, 11:02
Took 15mins, all correct. Relatively easier passage.

Can other people come up with their time frames. Would help others gauge how others have done in comparison
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05 Jul 2013, 02:09
My Choices are:

Q1:D
Q2:C
Q3:A
Q4:C
Q5:D
Q6:B
Q7:C
Q8:D
Q9:A

Can anyone share his/hers and confirm?
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05 Jul 2013, 03:39
micmic wrote:
My Choices are:

Q1:D
Q2:C
Q3:A
Q4:C
Q5:D
Q6:B
Q7:C
Q8:D
Q9:A

Can anyone share his/hers and confirm?

Hi,

The OA is already shared within the questions.

Thanks,
Vaibhav.
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24 Mar 2014, 18:58
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25 Mar 2014, 01:46
samsmalldog wrote:

i chose C, couldnt find the function of Nitrogen in the passage.
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16 Apr 2015, 09:34
Can anyone help me with Q6? Thanks!
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2017, 00:41
Hello Experts,

Can anyone explain q7?

7. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
(A) What percent of the total population in the United States is obese?
(B) What psychological factors cause people to gain weight rapidly once they go off a diet?
(C) What function does nitrogen perform in the body?
(D) How is an individual’s desirable weight determined?
(E) If a snack bar contains 130 calories and 4 grams of fat, what percentage of the calories in the bar come from fat?

Option D is also not mentioned in the passage. Rather individuals can find out if they are obese by checking if they are 20% more than desirable weight. The passage nowhere mentions how to calculate/determine desirable weight. Desirable weight is subjective and depends on each person

Please correct me if I am wrong anywhere. Thanks
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Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease  [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2017, 10:47
pikolo2510 wrote:
Hello Experts,

Can anyone explain q7?

7. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
(A) What percent of the total population in the United States is obese?
(B) What psychological factors cause people to gain weight rapidly once they go off a diet?
(C) What function does nitrogen perform in the body?
(D) How is an individual’s desirable weight determined?
(E) If a snack bar contains 130 calories and 4 grams of fat, what percentage of the calories in the bar come from fat?

Option D is also not mentioned in the passage. Rather individuals can find out if they are obese by checking if they are 20% more than desirable weight. The passage nowhere mentions how to calculate/determine desirable weight. Desirable weight is subjective and depends on each person

Please correct me if I am wrong anywhere. Thanks

The answer to #7 is (E). We are told that "Fat yields 9 calories per gram," so a snack bar with 4 grams of fat would have 36 calories from fat. Thus, we can calculate the percentage.

ShashankDave wrote:

*Note: Please try your best to ask specific questions. Let us know what you have tried and what you think about the question and answer choices. This will allow us to give better advice in a more timely fashion. General questions such as, "Explain this question!" are not as useful and often go unanswered.

Quote:
3. Which of the following, if true, best helps to explain why a greater percentage of women than men in the United States are considered obese by the measure mentioned in the passage?
(A) The measure is the same for both men and women, but it is normal for women to carry a greater percentage of fat at any weight.
(B) The average man is heavier than the average woman; therefore, men generally need to gain more weight than women do before they are considered obese.
(C) There are more women in the United States than there are men.
(D) Because of the influence of the fashion and film industries, many American women consider themselves obese even though they are not.
(E) Women burn off fewer calories than men because their bodies contain a lower percentage of muscle, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat.

Refer to the following portion: "a common rule of thumb classifies people who are more than 20 percent above their desirable weight as obese. By this measure, 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in America are obese." This measure of obesity is based on people's DESIRABLE weight. Somebody might weigh 70kg and be perfectly healthy, but if they WANT to be really skinny, their DESIRABLE weight might be much less (i.e. 55kg). That person would be considered obese by the measure described in the passage.

Choice (E) explains why women have a harder time BURNING calories, but that only helps if women and men consume the same amount of calories on average.

If women are more likely to set such low desirable weights for themselves, that might make it seem like women are more obese by that measure. Choice (D) seems more in line with the information in the passage. Perhaps someone can confirm the OA from the source?

In general, questions from the GMAC paper tests seem to be a bit unreliable and not as valuable as newer questions.
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28 Mar 2019, 22:32
GMATNinjaTwo Can you please explain question number 9...Why option C is wrong and option D is correct?
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29 Mar 2019, 04:15
Bishal123456789
Well C is wrong because it talk about possibility it can happen or cannot happen
Whereas in D there is clear fact supporting the claim
Re: In terms of its prevalence, obesity is the leading disease   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2019, 04:15
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