AWA 21


The following appeared in the health section of a magazine on trends and lifestyles.

“People who use the artificial sweetener aspartame are better off consuming sugar, since aspartame can actually contribute to weight gain rather than weight loss. For example, high levels of aspartame have been shown to trigger a craving for food by depleting the brain of a chemical that registers satiety, or the sense of being full. Furthermore, studies suggest that sugars, if consumed after at least 45 minutes of continuous exercise, actually enhance the body’s ability to burn fat. Consequently, those who drink aspartame-sweetened juices after exercise will also lose this calorie-burning benefit. Thus it appears that people consuming aspartame rather than sugar are unlikely to achieve their dietary goals.”

The argument in the article of health section of a magazine on trends and lifestyles is unconvincing because its conclusion depends on unsubstantiated assumption of application of research and findings to general people. Each of the following areas merit further explanation before it can be given any degree of credibility of its conclusion of consuming sugar to achieve dietary goals.

Firstly, the research and findings of aspartame registering satiety in the brain by depleting a chemical responsible for it, is based on very high intake of aspartame. On the contrary, it is highly unlikely that general people will ever take such high doses of Aspartame. So, expecting the same results of people with high doses of intake with the general people is very unconvincing.

Secondly, the finding that sugars if consumed after 45 min of exercise helps the body in burning fat, is unconvincing as generally people cannot be expected to exercise regularly. Additionally, people opting for Aspartame may be just looking for dietary control without exercising. In such a case, discarding the use of Aspartame may be really foolish.

Due to the many holes in the reasoning in the arguments of the report, it is difficult to take the arguments seriously. Unless further evidence surface in each of the areas discussed above, the given premises are insufficient proof that the conclusion drawn is viable.

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