Find a newspaper editorial/article that uses poor reasoning. Describe the reason

Sociology
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

75 to 100 words

Nov 23rd, 2014

OPINIONS ON: skipping breakfast very bad for health

The basic point of the article that one should not skip breakfast is probably good advice. However, the way it cites the study suggests that not eating in the morning will cause one to smoke and drink more, among other undesirable things. This is a textbook example of mistaking correlation for causation, or at least implying causation when it has yet to be demonstrated.

It's at least a reasonable hypothesis that the same factors that contribute to people smoking and drinking might cause them not to eat breakfast. Therefore, it is irresponsible to imply that starting to eat breakfast will help with one's smoking and drinking problems when one might be better off dealing with some underlying cause, such as depression or workplace stress.

The point about skipping breakfast leading to obesity was somewhat better, as a tentative reason was provided, it is harder to think of alternative explanations, and other studies have indeed shown evidence of a mechanism that would lead to skipping breakfast causing obesity (increased food cravings). Overall, a person taking this article at face value might take up one good habit while weakening their ability to properly analyze data and make rational decisions.

Nov 23rd, 2014

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