GRE Argument Essay 40
The citizens of Forsythe have adopted healthier lifestyles. Their responses to a recent survey show that in their eating habits they conform more closely to government nutritional recommendations than they did ten years ago. Furthermore, there has been a fourfold increase in sales of food products containing kiran, a substance that a scientific study has shown reduces cholesterol. This trend is also evident in reduced sales of sulia, a food that few of the healthiest citizens regularly eat.
The given argument contends that the citizens of Forsythe have now switched to a healthy lifestyle. The arguer utilizes three facts to substantiate this claim. The first fact is that the responses of the citizens to a recent survey show that their eating habits now conform to the government nutritional recommendations more than they did ten years ago. The second fact is that there has been an exponential increase in the sales of food products that contain a cholesterol reducing substance known as kiran. The last fact is that there has been a reduction the sales of sulia which is a food product that is not eaten regularly by healthy people. Despite the evidence presented by the arguer, the argument is not persuasive enough in order to convince the reader that the citizens of Forsythe have indeed switched to a healthy lifestyle.
A major lacuna in the given argument is the absence of details regarding the survey which has provided the first fact in support of the claim made by the arguer. As the method of conduct of the survey is questionable, the conclusion arrived at by studying the statistics of the survey cannot be deemed as reliable. There is no mention of the people who were a part of the survey. It is likely that the survey took into account a disproportionate number of young people who are probably more health conscious than the older generation and hence, the difference in eating habits as compared to the ones that existed ten years ago is seen. In such a case, the statistics cannot hold true for all the citizens of Forsythe and hence the conclusion of the argument is baseless. The argument could have been strengthened if the arguer had included details of the cross-section of people who were a part of the survey in such a way that their responses could have reflected the lifestyle of all the citizens of Forsythe.
The second and third facts presented by the arguer do little to substantiate the claim made in the argument. This is because the arguer fails to establish a concrete link between leading healthier lifestyles and the increasing sales of products containing kiran or the declining sales of sulia. It is likely that the citizens of Forsythe are buying food products that contain kiran in very small amounts which does little to help them lead healthy lifestyles. Additionally, it is possible that the food product experiencing a boom in sales is actually junk food and it contains kiran in traces. Hence, these food products are actually having an adverse effect on the health of the citizens of Forsythe. There is no mention of the nutritional content of sulia. It is likely that sulia has high nutritional value, but the healthy citizens do not like to have it because of its taste or other reasons. Even if sulia is an unhealthy food, it is likely that its sales are declining due to other reasons like low production of the food product. It is not necessary that the citizens have willingly stopped buying sulia as a result of their adoption of healthy lifestyles. Therefore, the argument fails to establish a link between the sales of these food products and the healthy lifestyles of the citizens of Forsythe.
In the absence of evidence that proves beyond doubt that the survey was conducted amongst people who represented the entire population of Forsyth, the assumption that the eating habits of people conform more closely to government nutritional recommendations than they did ten years ago cannot be termed as reliable. Moreover, there is no concrete evidence in support of the fact that sulia is an unhealthy food and it is for this reason that it is being avoided by healthy people. In view of the above, the given argument is highly unconvincing in its present form.