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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 87

Sixty adults were asked to keep a diary of their meals, including what they consumed, when, and in the company of how many people. It was found that at meals with which they drank alcoholic beverages, they consumed about 175 calories more from nonalcoholic source than they did at meals with which they did not drink alcoholic beverages.

Each of the following, if true, contributes to an explanation of the difference in caloric intake EXCEPT:

[A]. Diners spent a much longer time at meals served with alcohol than they did at those serve without alcohol.
[B]. The meals eaten later in the day tended to be larger than those eaten earlier in the day, and later meals were more likely to include alcohol.
[C]. People eat more when there are more people present at the meal, and more people tended to be present at meal served with alcohol than at meals served without alcohol.
[D]. The meals that were most carefully prepared and most attractively served tended to be those at which alcoholic beverages were consumed.
[E]. At meals that included alcohol, relatively more of the total calories consumed came from carbohydrates and relatively fewer of them came from fats and proteins.
Answer: E

The stimulus study found that when people drank alcoholic beverages with their meals, they consumed about 175 more calories, from NON-alcoholic sources than when they ate meals without consuming alcoholic beverages. In other words, when people are pounding down the booze, they tend to be eating more, or at least consuming more food calories, than they do when they aren’t drinking. All of the choices help explain why this is so . . . all except correct choice (E). (E) does present a difference between the two types of meals (alcoholic and alcohol-free), but it’s not a relevant difference. The issue isn’t what kind of calories were consumed, but how many. In breaking down the two types of meals into their proportional sources of calories, (E) does nothing to explain why the total amount of calories in the two meal situations differ.

(A) If people linger at the table when they consume alcohol, it’s not surprising that they spend a lot of that extra time eating, and so tend to consume more calories.

(B) If the alcoholic meals, since they occurred later in the day, were larger meals, then it’s no surprise at all that people consumed more calories at those bigger meals.

(C) says that people eat more when there are a lot of them eating together, and that alcohol tends to be served at meals that have a lot of diners. So here too we have an explanation: The large number of diners, which correlates well with the serving of alcohol, results in greater food consumption.

(D) If meals at which alcohol is served tend to be more “enticing” in both preparation and appearance, then it’s understandable that diners may be enticed to eat more of those meals.

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