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Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours pe

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 07:15
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Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours per week that people spend at work has increased from approximately 41 hours to nearly 52 hours. It is thought that this change has played an important role in the corresponding increase in average body mass index for working Americans over the same period. The increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.

Which of the following questions would be most useful to answer in determining whether the increased workweek is an important cause of the increase in average body mass index over the past twenty years?

A. Do more employers offer healthy eating options in their onsite cafeterias today compared to twenty years ago?
B. Do more employers subsidize gym and health club memberships for their employees today compared to twenty years ago?
C. What percentage of employees use their free time to exercise and engage in healthy activities today compared to twenty years ago?
D. Did employees exercise and engage in healthy activities with the additional time when they were not at work twenty years ago?
E. What factors other than exercise and engaging in healthy activities are important for weight loss?
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Re: Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours pe  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 07:58
C ...it talks about the workweek hours

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Re: Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours pe  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 00:35
gauravraos wrote:
Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours per week that people spend at work has increased from approximately 41 hours to nearly 52 hours. It is thought that this change has played an important role in the corresponding increase in average body mass index for working Americans over the same period. The increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.

Which of the following questions would be most useful to answer in determining whether the increased workweek is an important cause of the increase in average body mass index over the past twenty years?

A. Do more employers offer healthy eating options in their onsite cafeterias today compared to twenty years ago?
B. Do more employers subsidize gym and health club memberships for their employees today compared to twenty years ago?
C. What percentage of employees use their free time to exercise and engage in healthy activities today compared to twenty years ago?
D. Did employees exercise and engage in healthy activities with the additional time when they were not at work twenty years ago?
E. What factors other than exercise and engaging in healthy activities are important for weight loss?


I think the answer is E.
C talks about the number of people and not time.
D is a trap. If we answer No to this question, the conclusion will break down but if we answer Yes, we are still not sure about the relationship between weight gain and exercise.
E mentions about other factors other than exercise which should be kept in mind before arriving at such a conclusion.
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New post 11 Aug 2017, 11:02
Quote:
Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours per week that people spend at work has increased from approximately 41 hours to nearly 52 hours. It is thought that this change has played an important role in the corresponding increase in average body mass index for working Americans over the same period. The increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.


Before we proceed, it is to be noted that the question is to pick a test that would either validate or invalidate the claim that, increase in work week hours led to an increase in BMI.

(E) Finding existence of other options to weight loss does not test the claim that increase in work week hours led to an increase in BMI. I mean what you have is just extra information.

(C) Finding the percentage of employees indulging in healthy activities today as compared to 20 years ago, still does not answer if they are spending more time or less time today as compared to 20 years ago which would help us answer the relation between work hours and BMI.

(A) and (B) are irrelevant and can be ignored.

If people spent the extra time they had 20 years ago, doing something healthy, then they had low BMIs. Now, that the hours have increased, people do not have a chance to do something healthy as much, which leads to higher BMIs.

But in case, if there is no change in the hours spent doing something healthy before the work hour increase and after it, it means that healthy habits or exercise have nothing to do with the current situation of higher BMIs.

(D) is the winner.
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Re: Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours pe  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2017, 06:39
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Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours per week that people spend at work has increased from approximately 41 hours to nearly 52 hours. It is thought that this change has played an important role in the corresponding increase in average body mass index for working Americans over the same period. The increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.

Type - Evaluate
Boil it down - The increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.

A. Do more employers offer healthy eating options in their onsite cafeterias today compared to twenty years ago? - Irrelevant - the argument is about time at work and exercise and healthy activities
B. Do more employers subsidize gym and health club memberships for their employees today compared to twenty years ago? - Out of scope
C. What percentage of employees use their free time to exercise and engage in healthy activities today compared to twenty years ago? ISWAT - the average work hours has increased now and we are only concerned about those hours - On average11 less hours per week available now
D. Did employees exercise and engage in healthy activities with the additional time when they were not at work twenty years ago? - Correct - If employers 20 years back were likely to use the additional 11 hours in exercise, then it strengthens else it weakens
E. What factors other than exercise and engaging in healthy activities are important for weight loss? - Irrelevant

Answer D
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New post 13 Aug 2017, 02:38
I was stuck between C and D but picked D.

C talks about the % of people exercising today vs. the % of people exercising 20 years ago, but does not relate to the claim that people exercise less now because they have less free time.
D considers whether people used the additional time they had 20 years ago for exercising. I think this is what the question is concerned about. Since they have less time now, they can exercise less, but this is only true and relevant if they used the time for exercising (more).
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New post 13 Aug 2017, 21:26
Over the past twenty years in the U.S., the average number of hours per week that people spend at work has increased from approximately 41 hours to nearly 52 hours. It is thought that this change has played an important role in the corresponding increase in average body mass index for working Americans over the same period. The increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.

Which of the following questions would be most useful to answer in determining whether the increased workweek is an important cause of the increase in average body mass index over the past twenty years?

A. Do more employers offer healthy eating options in their onsite cafeterias today compared to twenty years ago? Irrelevant because the premise does not speak about eating habits.
B. Do more employers subsidize gym and health club memberships for their employees today compared to twenty years ago? Irrelevant because the premise does not speak about what the employers do or used to do for the health benefits of the employees.
C. What percentage of employees use their free time to exercise and engage in healthy activities today compared to twenty years ago? Not the correct answer. The premise does not compare the number of employees who used to exercise earlier vs the number of employees who exercise today.
D. Did employees exercise and engage in healthy activities with the additional time when they were not at work twenty years ago? Correct. If the employees did not engage in healthy activities twenty years ago, then the extra working hours today is not the reason behind the increase in average body mass index.
E. What factors other than exercise and engaging in healthy activities are important for weight loss? Irrelevant because we are only concerned about whether the employees today exercise or engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight.
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New post Updated on: 11 Nov 2017, 22:03
boiled down to B and D.
I thought it was B b/c there is a comparison. However, D is correct b/c D tests whether "there is exercises 20 years ago".
B concerns with the subsidy and exercise, but B still needs another assumption to be a correct answer.
C is not good, and C is actually a trap. The argument concerns with the time for exercising, not how many employees who do exercise in free time. => C is strengthen.
Another reason why C is wrong is C gives comparison between today and 20 years ago. This comparison is merely a correlation between today and 20 years ago => this is a strengthener.

Originally posted by chesstitans on 30 Oct 2017, 10:06.
Last edited by chesstitans on 11 Nov 2017, 22:03, edited 3 times in total.
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New post Updated on: 11 May 2018, 08:52

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:



In this question, your goal is to assess the quality of the argument supporting the increase in the average workweek as an important cause for the increase in BMI over a period of 20 years. What is the evidence given for this conclusion? That the increased time at work does not allow people as much time to exercise and engage in healthy activities that help reduce weight. As in any useful to evaluate question, you should attack this line of reasoning and consider what assumptions or flaws are inherent in the argument. At its heart, this argument makes an important assumption: that 20 years ago people used the additional time when they were not at work to exercise and engage in healthy activities. Imagine that 20 years ago almost no one used that additional 11 hours to exercise – they used it to go out to dinner, watch TV, sleep, etc. Then this argument falls apart as the additional time spent at work does not change the time available for exercise and healthy activities compared to 20 years ago. Any question that relates to this assumption will be the correct answer. For (A) and (B) these questions are unimportant as they do not relate to the issue of having more time. (C) is quite tricky and might seem important at first glance but the percentage is not important. Imagine that a higher percentage of people today are engaging in exercise and healthy activities but they only have a very small amount of time to do it or vice versa. The issue is whether they now lack the time to exercise and engage in healthy activities and this question does not address this fact. (D) hits exactly the assumption discussed earlier and is thus the correct answer. For (E), this argument is only about whether a lack of time to exercise and engage in healthy activities resulting from more work is the cause of an increase in average body mass index – other factors are not important. Correct answer is (D).
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Originally posted by sahilvijay on 07 Dec 2017, 03:31.
Last edited by Bunuel on 11 May 2018, 08:52, edited 1 time in total.
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