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Average adult

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply
Elena Plescan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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16 Sep 2014
Posted:
18 messages

Average adult

Post Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:46 am
Hi,

Here's a question I have doubts about.

Despite the relentless pursuit of fitness portrayed by the media, the population of the nation is, on average, plumper than was the population 30 years ago. By 2008, the average adult is 11 pounds heavier than was the average adult in 1978. Which of the following is an assumption underlying the argument above regarding today's average adult?

A) Today's average adult is not substantially overweight.
B) Today's average adult is trying to lose weight.
C) Today's average adult eats healthier food than did the average adult of the past.
D) Today's average adult is not older than was the average adult of the past.
E) Today's average adult is not significantly taller than was the average adult of the past.

The correct answer is E, but in this case why D is not a valid choice?

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Post Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am
D) Today's average adult is not older than was the average adult of the past.

Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, studies showed that the average Adult has put on 15 or more additional pounds without getting any taller.

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David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Post Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:53 am
The difference between D and E is that "height" - mentioned in choice E - has a direct to connection to Body Mass Index, ideal weight, being overweight etc. So a taller person could be 11 pounds heavier and not be overweight.

However, an older person should actually weigh less do to the loss of bone density and muscle mass as we age. (This is outside knowledge of course) but logically age OF ADULTS is not a reason for people to be heavier. Age or children would be a reason to be heavier - older children weigh more. But a 40 year-old should not weigh more than he did at age 30.

Again - taller and heavier may not be plumper. But heavier and older is still plumper!

Does that help?

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Post Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:49 am
Hi Elena Plescan,

This question is designed in a "quirky" way - you have to understand what the word "plumper" means to correctly answer it.

The Facts:
-The media portrays an idea of the relentless pursuit of fitness.
-In 2008, the average adult is 11 pounds HEAVIER than the average adult in 1978

The Conclusion:
-The population of the nation (in 2008), on average, is PLUMPER than the population 30 years ago (in 1978).

The Logic:
-We don't have a lot of information to work with - just the relative difference in average weights of the adult population at 2 points in time. The prompt connects the +11 pounds of weight to being "PLUMPER" - meaning that the extra weight makes the 2008 population look fatter/thicker/fuller than the 1978 population. We're likely looking for an answer that either confirms this idea or REMOVES the possibility that the extra 11 pounds has done something other than make the population look plumper.

The only answer that addresses this issue is Answer E. A taller person could (and probably would) be heavier without looking plumper - if this were the case, then the argument wouldn't make sense. The logic has to assume that the 2008 populace isn't significantly taller than the 1978 populace. Answer D focuses on the age of the populace, but we have no information to work with that connects age with "plumpness."

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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