Source: Revised GRE PDF 1st Ed. Section 4: Verbal; #11 (p. 63)


Which of the following, if true, most seriously

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the argument? Even after numerous products made with artificial sweeteners became available, sugar consumption per capita continued to rise. Now manufacturers are introducing fat-free versions of various foods that they claim have the taste and texture of the traditional high-fat versions. Even if the manufacturers’ claim is true, given that the availability of sugar-free foods did not reduce sugar consumption, it is unlikely that the availability of these fat-free foods will reduce fat consumption. Blank: Several kinds of fat substitute are available to manufacturers, each of which gives a noticeably different taste and texture to products that contain it., The products made with artificial sweeteners did not taste like products made with sugar., The foods brought out in sugar-free versions did not generally have reduced levels of fat, but many of the fat-free versions about to be introduced are low in sugar., People who regularly consume products containing artificial sweeteners are more likely than others to consume fat-free foods., Not all foods containing fat can be produced in fat-free versions.

3 Explanations


Arctic Parrot

what is wrong with answer A?

Jul 29, 2018 • Comment

David Recine, Magoosh Tutor

The problem with answer A is that it's too ambiguous. For one thing, the fat-free products that taste different may actually taste BETTER than the products with fat. In that case, fat consumption WOULD be reduced. For another, consumers may simply be more interested in avoiding fat than they are in avoiding sugar. In which case, even if the different taste is a bit less desirable, the products may be attractive to customers, so that customers consume less fat.

In short there are just too many "what ifs" for answer A, so there's no way to be sure whether or not A undermines the argument, strengthens the argument, or leaves it unchanged.

On the other hand, if the other answers, including A, are not part of the picture, but answer B and the passage are both true, the argument is undermined. Because in that case, the sugar-free products didn't taste like the real thing, but we have reason to believe that the fat products WILL taste like the real thing. We have reason to believe this because the manufacturers mentioned in the passage say the fat-free products will taste like the products with fat, and we don't have answer A to contradict this.

So if B is correct and the sugar free products don't have authentic flavor but the fat free ones do, it seems likely that fat-free products will have some sort of impact on fat consumption, even though sugar-free products didn't change consumption patterns.

Jul 29, 2018 • Reply


Weiwei ZHANG

I was confusing at first because the argument tries to show something related to fat-free food. But because the conclusion is inducted from the case of sugar-free food, it is still valid to find some flaw of the assumption of sugar-free food.

Actually I am not sure whether my explanation is correct or not... this is a very tricky question.

Feb 1, 2015 • Comment

I concur. I made the same mistake. Option C looks very valid too

Jun 14, 2015 • Reply

Jonathan , Magoosh Tutor

The premise of the argument is the fact that more availability of foods made with artificial sweeteners did not cause sugar consumption to decrease. The conclusion is that therefore, more availability of fat-free foods will not cause fat consumption to decrease.

A key assumption of this argument is that the same reason sugar-free foods did not decrease sugar consumption will also be valid for the case of fat-free foods.

We are looking for an answer choice that shows this assumption is not valid--and answer choice that tells us why fat-free foods can be valid.

The problem with (C) is that it is still entirely possible that people don't care about sugar-free OR fat-free products. So, even though fat-free products are also sugar-free, people still will not buy fat-free products for the same reason as sugar-free products: they don't care.

(B) gives us a distinction: sugar-free products didn't taste like products with real sugar. We know that fat-free products supposedly taste like products made with real fat. So if (B) is true, then we have a clear reason why the response to fat-free products will be different: unlike the sugar-free products, they DO taste like what they are imitating.

I hope that helps.

Jun 18, 2015 • Reply


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 26, 2012 • Comment

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