This post is part of an ongoing series of question explanations for the LSAT. In this post, I explain LSAT PrepTest 52, Section 3, Question 2. If you are looking for a copy of PrepTest 52, check out my post on where to find LSAT PrepTests. If you already have a copy, keep it on hand as you read the explanation.
Question Type: Identify the Conclusion
Identify the conclusion questions require us to 1) analyse the argument’s reasoning structure, 2) identify the argument’s conclusion, and 3) choose the answer that most clearly expresses the same content as the conclusion.
Analyzing the Argument’s Reasoning Structure
The argument begins by introducing a new set of products that use “fake fat.” We are told here what “fake fat” is and why consumers are excited about it. Specifically, we learn that “fake fat” is designed to taste like real fat and have the same consistency of real fat without having the “harmful effects” of real fat.
The next statement in the argument is a claim. We are told that the consumers who expect these “fake fat” products to help them lose weight will likely be disappointed. Why will be they be disappointed? Presumably because the “fake fat” won’t help them lose weight. Notice how tricky this statement is. This appears to be a claim about consumers. But it’s not! This is a claim about the “fake fat” products. The dietitian is claiming that the “fake fat” products will likely not help consumers lose weight.
Our final statement is a reason to believe that the “fake fat” products will likely not help consumers lose weight; it’s support for the previous sentence. If people are taking in the same number of calories with “fake fat” as they are without “fake fat,” then the “fake fat” is probably not helping people lose weight!
Identifying the Argument’s Conclusion
In this case, the conclusion is the middle sentence, which claims that consumers who expect these “fake fat” products to help them lose weight will likely be disappointed. This statement is supported by the final sentence in the argument. However, the middle sentence does not support any other statements in the argument. Thus, because this statement receives support but does not provide any support, it is the argument’s conclusion.
Choosing the Answer
Answer A: This is found nowhere in the argument. The argument only mentions that consumers of “fake fat” tend not to decrease overall caloric intake; nothing is said about people who take in other types of food.
Answer B: This is a very tempting answer, but it ultimately fails to accurately state the argument’s conclusion. Even though weight loss is talked about in the argument, nutrition is never mentioned. Furthermore, this answer says consumers are “destined” for disappointment. However, the argument’s conclusion claims only that consumers will “likely” be disappointed.
Answer C: This is found nowhere in the argument. “Fake fat” may not help consumers lose weight, but that does not mean it will contribute to obesity. And it certainly does not make it more likely to do so than other foods.
Answer D: Correct! The language used in this answer is different than the language in the argument, but the meaning is the same: consumers who want to lose weight by using “fake fat” products will probably be disappointed.
Answer E: The argument does imply that some consumers cannot distinguish “fake fat” from fat by taste alone, but the argument does no imply that most consumers cannot do this. Even if it did though, this is certainly not the main point of the argument.