GRE Essay Topic 948 - Milk and dairy products are rich in vitamin D and calcium, substances essential for building and maintaining bones. Many people therefore believe that a diet rich in dairy products can help prevent osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones weaken significantly with age and that is linked to both environmental and genetic factors. But a long-term study of a large number of people has found that those who have consistently consumed dairy products throughout the years of the study have a higher rate of bone fractures than any other participants in the study. Since bone fractures are a symptom of osteoporosis, this study result shows that a diet rich in dairy products may actually increase, rather than decrease, the risk of osteoporosis. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.
Dairy products and bone fractures
At the beginning, author argued for benefits of dairy products in preventing osteoporosis. Later she described a particular study and its observations, concluding that a diet rich in dairy products increase the risk of osteoporosis, rather than prevent it. After close scrunity, I see multiple lacunae in the observations made by the study and hence I disagree with the author’s conclusion.
The author mentions about the people in the study who consistently consumed dairy products had higher rate of bone fratures. She have not expanded on the type of people who were included in the study. May be, a large number of people who were under study were already victims of osteoporosis. People who were analysed by the study could already had bone fractures, hence the study found a majority of dairy products consumers in the study had higher rate of bone fractures. The study could have erroneously attributed the cause behind bone fractures to the consistent consumption of dairy products.
The author herself stated that osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones weaken significantly with age due to environmental or genetic factors. Therefore, this fact itself weakens her argument of dairy products being the likely cause of osteporosis. People under study could have genetic history of osteoporosis or bone fractures. Hence, consumption of dairy products cannot be attributed for increasing risk of osteoporosis.
The author have not delienated on the diet followed by people under the study besides dairy product. Bone fractures or osteoporosis could be caused by a specific diet pattern. Certain foods may also increase the risk of osteoporosis. A result of higher rate of bone fractures in the study could have been caused by some other food of which the dairy products took the blame.
Author could have provided us with the details about the participants in the study. She could have explained the diet patterns followed by people under study. Any evidence regarding genetic history of participants or environmental conditions of the region participants belong to, would also help to evaluate the author’s argument.
Due to foregoing reasons, I am not convinced with the author’s argument. I disagree with the claim that dairy products may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
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