Sorry if I have to subject you guys to my shitty writing. It's been a while and the gears in my brain are a little rusty...and I really need to practice. The goal is to analyze and deconstruct the given argument in 30 minutes. This is my first try and it took about an hour. :) I'll do a couple more this weekend to brush up my skills. HAHAHA, Lawd knows I need to... COMMENTS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED! Thanks.
A recent study show that people living on the continent of North America suffer 9 times more chronic fatigue and 31 times more chronic depression than do people living on the continent of Asia. Interestingly, Asians, on average, eat 20 grams of soy per day, whereas North Americans eat virtually non. It turns out that soy contains phytochemicals called isoflavones, which have been found to possess disease-preventing properties. Thus, North Americans should consider eating soy on a regular basis as a way of preventing fatigue and depression.
My analysis of the argument:
The conclusion that North Americans* should eat soy on a regular basis to prevent fatigue and depression, based on the fact that Asians* consume an average of 20 grams of soy per day and are found to be less likely to suffer from chronic fatigue and depression, is a little premature. Although it may be a nice and easy solution to the problem, a variety of other factors can cause the high instances of fatigue and depression that North Americans experience. Additionally, one study alone is not sufficient enough to correctly correlate soy consumption with prevention of fatigue and depression.
The argument states that soy contains isoflavones which possess disease-preventing properties. Although isoflavones might have these properties, the author doesn't state exactly what type of diseases it prevents. Isoflavones might indeed prevent diseases but we don't know if those diseases are in any way related to fatigue and depression. Certainly, more facts regarding the benefits of soy and isoflavones are necessary to make this claim valid. Also, we do not know the underlying factors that contributes to the high incidence of fatigue and depression in North Americans. Fatigue and depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance, emotional/psychological/financial stress or even genetic predisposition.
The best way to correctly validate (or invalidate) the conclusion that soy consumption on a regular basis to prevent fatigue and depression is to do more research in the area. Four control groups are necessary: North Americans that consume 20+ grams of soy per day, Asians that consume 20+ grams of soy per day, North Americans that do not consume soy and Asians that do not consume soy. The conclusion drawn by comparing the incidence of fatigue and depression among these four groups will be a better measure of the correlation of soy consumption to the incidence of fatigue and depression.
*Note: North Americans in this essay mean people living on the continent of North America and Asians mean people living on the continent of Asia.