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Eating beets significantly lowers the risk of cancer, according to an article in a nutritional magazine

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Eating beets significantly lowers the risk of cancer, according to an article in a nutritional magazine. The article refers to a study that found that people who consumed one or more beets per day were half as likely to be diagnosed with the disease as people who did not.
Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument in the magazine article?
A) Another study found that people who consumed one tablespoon of flax seed oil per day were more than four times less likely to be diagnosed with cancer as those who did not.
B) Participants in the study reported consuming no vegetables other than beets.
C) The study was only conducted in one city.
D) In another experiment, cancer patients who ate one or more beets per day were no more likely to recover than those who ate no beets.
E) The participants in the study who ate beets were more likely to exercise regularly than those who did not eat beets.

Official Answer
Very Tough :( . Would be great if someone can help.
commented Feb 6, 2015 by Senior Associate (437 points)

@flamingo Can you please explain

commented Jun 30, 2017 by Guru (5,628 points)

2 Answers


After reading the prompt and the question, you should be looking for things that sever the connection between the premises and the conclustion.  For example, an exaplantation for why the people who ate beets had less incidence of cancer that isn't that beets lower the risk of cancer.

A) is irrelevant, because what flax seeds do for cancer has no bearing on beets

B) This actually strengthens the arguement, because it eliminates the possibility that the people in the study generally ate more vegetables and vegetables in general actually decrease the risk of cancer

C) Does nothing to the argument

D) cancer recovery does not equal cancer risk, so this is irrelevant

E) This is the best weakener, it states that those who eat beets are more likey to exercise and leeaves the door open for the arguement that it was the exercise, not the beets that caused the decrease in incidences of cancer



answered Feb 10, 2015 by Associate (125 points)

In this question the article basis its finding on one study. This is a classic cause-n-effect CR problem. It is important to estalish that the cause leads to effect and no other factor is responsible for this. So for instance, if the participants who ate beetas were also similar in another way that differentiated them from the group that did not, it would be very difficult to establish ( and no other factor) were responsible for reducing the risk of cancer on the basis of this single study.
A) Out of Scope. Flax Seed Study is unrelated to this one.
B) This actually strengthens the argument. because it is elminating the possibility other factors.
C) Does not help weaken.
D) This one is about role beets in recovery, rather than in risk of diagnosis. Therefore does not help weaken the argument, which focuses on cancer preventionm not recovery.

E) This is the answer, in this case it shows there were other factors leading to effect. 

Generally for Cause-n-Effect weaken problems, look for an answer that shows other factors lead to effect as well. 


answered Feb 7, 2015 by Guru (5,628 points)
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