Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 7, 2022 01:55 IST

Several recent studies have shown a link between health and stair usage. One recently completed study shows that people who live in stairs-only apartment buildings (that is, buildings without elevators) live an average of three years longer than do people who live in buildings with both elevators and stairs. A second study shows that elderly residents of buildings with elevators make, on average, twice as many visits to doctors each year as do residents of buildings without elevators. Furthermore, several doctor's offices are reporting that residents of stairs-only buildings scored higher than average on questionnaires administered to new patients, in which the patients were asked to rate several aspects of their own health (e.g., fitness, sleep quality, susceptibility to injury, etc.). The clearest explanation for these findings is that the moderate daily exercise required of residents who must use the stairs instead of elevators increases people's health and longevity.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

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The given argument states the reason behind bad habits, such as consuming alcohol, taking illegal drugs and tobacco, in 30% of the surveyed teens is the lack of association with their families during meals. It is also stated that this results in lower self-esteem, depression and low grades in school compared to those who have at least seven meals with their families. 

This argument has missed other important factors that need to be evaluated in order to reach a conclusion. From the given details, we can't be sure that the only reason for all the wrong behaviour is not having meals together with families. Besides this, it doesn't mention why teens do not have meals with their families. 

The assumption made in the argument is not fully valid because teens not having meals with their families is not the only reason that gets teens engaged in bad habits. The cause which results in such behaviour has not been researched well. For example, the friend circle of a teen may be such that he/she has been influenced by them to start taking illegal drugs, smoking and consuming alcohol as well. The teen might have inculcated such habits out of some family issues, too, such as when the family members do not support his/her interests. In such a scenario, even if we try to make them have a maximum number of meals with their families, that won't be advantageous in rehabilitating the teen at all. The family should try to dig into the matter and know the issues the child is facing so that they can resolve it in the right manner.

The second reason given in the argument states that low grades in school, depression and low self-esteem are linked with less number of family meals. This analysis doesn't seem to be convincing, since, the grades of a student are in no way determined by the meals he/she has with the family. For good grades, interest in the subjects, a thorough understanding of concepts and hard work is needed. Also, some teens have a very good academic record but are still engaged in ill manners. Therefore, such factors should be analyzed. 

There is an assumption made in the final part of the argument that when a teen has more number of meals with his family, he/she won't be indulged in bad behavior or bad habits. But how does having meals with family address this issue? This is because teens may be having meals with their families regularly, but they might also be engaged in ill practices.  

Considering various reasons which might trigger such unwanted behaviour, the teens need to be provided counselling, so that the exact problem can be identified. This will help the parents in guiding them well and preventing the issue from becoming severe. They need to be taught the right things by explaining how bad habits can deteriorate their life. When parents know their interests, they should start supporting the children and encourage them to pursue that which interests them. All of these can help a teen in rehabilitation and grow up to be a healthy adult with self-esteem and self-confidence that will keep him away from bad habits in the future. Thus, they will excel in academics, too. 

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This article scores a 3.5 because: 

The argument has an analysis that seems to be somewhat vague because of the lack of concrete evidence regarding the reasons behind the bad habits of teenagers. A better way of assessing the argument is to provide effective ways of rehabilitating teens from such activities so that they do not get back on the wrong path again. For more topics, visit: GRE Essay Topics with Answers


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About the Author
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio




Pavan Yenni

6 months ago

The question and answer for this are not relevant.

Reply to Pavan Yenni


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

5 months ago

Hello Pavan. Your concern has been duly noted. This would be looked into at the earliest. Thank you for sharing your feedback.



9 months ago

Its the wrong response

Reply to lopesep


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

8 months ago

Hello Lopesep. Kindly elaborate as to why do you think the response is wrong. As our essay has been graded by a competent authority.

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