Writing Assignment #1 Draft Health Myth Buster Finish doing the PDF file following the instructions in the PDF and make sure it meets the requirements that

Writing Assignment #1 Draft Health Myth Buster Finish doing the PDF file following the instructions in the PDF and make sure it meets the requirements that

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Writing Assignment #1 Draft Health Myth Buster Finish doing the PDF file following the instructions in the PDF and make sure it meets the requirements that are written down below.

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1.  This brochure clearly states the name of the product & how it works. It proves that product is real (e.g. picture of the ad). 

2.  This brochure supplies useful information showing that this product can/cannot reduce weight. It is not just anecdotal or persuasive. 

3.  I learned something new when I read this brochure. This brochure tells me more than what everybody already thinks or knows. 

4.  The brochure showed that real thought and effort went into it. It was not full of egregious errors in spelling and grammar. 

5.  The brochure’s message was loud and clear. It was not just a collage of unconnected statements that were difficult to follow. 

6.  The brochure translates the hype of the product into objective language that helps me to evaluate the claim(s) critically. 

7.  The brochure presents facts & arguments pro and contra the claim(s). It explains the mode of weight loss (reduce caloric intake | increase caloric output) and whether this product could really work. 

8.  The brochure then weighs these pros and cons to formulate a clear and persuasive conclusion. 

9.  The brochure points out health risks and benefits (such as the weight staying off). 

10.  The brochure uses original scientific data to make the point. 82

Writing Assignment #1 – Health Myth Buster

Learning Objectives
After completing this writing requirement, you should be able to

• research information to test the validity of weight loss products.
• evaluate the evidence supporting the claims of weight loss products.
• understand what constitutes a solid evaluation of such a claim.

You snooze, you don’t lose.

“Anyone who has tried to diet knows that losing weight and
keeping it off is hard. Really, really hard. No matter how many
pounds you are trying to lose, getting good results from whatever
diet you’re on takes vigilant effort and attention: you snooze, you
don’t lose.”

Cited from Todd Essig Forbes Website Sept 26, 2011.

List of Assignments
Assignment Comments Points
� Find a weight loss product or procedure. Sign up
for your choice in lab.

Week 2 in lab

N/A

� Bust the myth: Research the validity of the
product’s claims.

N/A N/A

� Make a brochure: Write up your findings as a
brochure and submit your draft on Canvas.

Submit draft on Canvas (DUE
Week 6 @ 11:59 PM the night
before your scheduled lab)

5 (for submitting on time)

� Peer feedback: Provide and receive feedback on
your draft.

Complete feedback exercise in
lab. Bring an internet Enabled
device (Week 6).

10 (for honest
participation)

� Revise your draft & write your final version. Submit final on Canvas (DUE
Week 8 @ 11:59 PM the night
before your scheduled lab)

25 (honest effort)
25 (possible performance
points)

� Submit your final version for peer review and
peer review six brochures.

Complete review exercise in
lab. Bring an internet Enabled
device (Week 8).

10 (for honest
participation)

� Show & Tell: Present your story in class (if you are
selected by the TA)

Week 8 in lab *Required if selected to
receive all possible
performance points

This schedule is subject to change; please pay attention to your TA for announcements.

83

Instructions

� Find a weight loss product.
Find a Ü weight loss product that
Ü claims that it can help you lose weight, and
Ü describes/implies how it works (diet change / life style change / surgical procedure).

� Bust the myth.
To research the validity of the product’s claims, address the following questions.

Ü Are you really losing weight? Is your product’s weight loss claim about true weight
loss? Or is the claim actually misleading (makes you look slimmer without losing
weight)?

Ü How will you be losing weight? True weight loss requires a reduction in caloric intake
and/or increase in caloric expenditure. Research the product (through its ingredient list,
description of the procedure, etc.) to check if & how it changes caloric input or output.

Ü Can you keep the weight off? Or will the product only help you to get weight off
without keeping it off?

Ü Any proof that this works? Does the product have scientific studies or data to back it
up? What additional information could you find that supports or contradicts the
claim? Are these primary sources (original reports by the scientist), secondary sources
(reports about the science written by someone who did not do the research) or just anecdotal
(testimonials)?

Ü Are there any health risks to this way of losing weight? What (scientific) evidence
could you find that this product is safe?

Ü How sure are you about what you found out? Can you find multiple sources for the
core facts of the arguments that you found pro or contra the claim? Or can all
arguments be traced back to one source?

Ü Would you buy the product? Why or why not?

� Make a brochure.
Ü Summarize your findings in a brochure (300-500 words).
Ü Make it look like a brochure that could be handed out at an information booth or

posted on a notice board.
Ü Use the peer-review rubric & the provided example as instructions for a good

brochure.

� Peer feedback.
Ü Submit your draft on Canvas (TurnItIn). Deadline listed in the Schedule.
Ü Three lab mates will look at your draft to provide feedback about the content. Check

that you got useful feedback. If not, ask your lab instructor for more feedback.
Ü You will also give feedback to three lab mates.
Ü Grading of your draft: You will receive full points for your draft if you submit your

draft on Canvas on time.
Ü Grading of your feedback: You will receive full feedback points if you provided

useful feedback on the three drafts you were assigned to read.

� Revise & submit.
Ü Use the feedback to improve your brochure.
Ü Submit your final version on Canvas (TurnItIn). Deadline listed in the Schedule.

84

� Peer review.
Ü You will receive 6 brochures to review in lab.
Ü Please also look at the Example Peer Review of the Example Brochure.
Ü First, read the scoring rubric to remind you about the criteria.
Ü Then score each brochure using the review rubric & add useful comments.
Ü Then rank all brochures from best (rank 1) to worst (rank 6).
Ü Submit your 6 reviews on Canvas (TurnItIn). Deadline listed in the Schedule.
Ü Grading of your peer reviews: You will receive peer review points if you fill in

6 reviews completely and provide useful & specific comments on each brochure.
Ü Grading of your brochure: The TA grades all brochures.

� Show & Tell.
Ü The TA will announce in lab if your brochure is selected for ‘Show & Tell’. Please

have a 3-5-min presentation ready to go. There are typically 3 to 5 talks.
Ü If you are selected for “Show & Tell” and you miss the designated lab and/or are

unable to give a talk, you might lose your full performance points to another student
who was able to give a talk.

Grading
Total number of points available for this Writing Exercise: 75.

Participation points available: 25
Honest-effort points available: 25
Performance points available: 25

Full participation points are awarded for completing the assignment on time (submit your
draft | provide 3 feedbacks in lab | complete 6 peer reviews in lab). Full honest-effort points
are awarded if your assignment also meets minimum standards as described in the Peer
Review Rubric (Honest Effort check boxes; Formatting Requirements check boxes). Up to
25 performance points may be awarded by the TA for papers that not only meet all of the
assignment requirements, but also demonstrate exceptional work. Typically, half of the
proposals in a lab section qualify for partial or full performance points.

Avoid an F: This exercise requires you to write 300 to 500 words. Writing fewer than 300
words will cost you all your honest-effort points, and therefore also all your performance
points. Also, not meeting the minimum word requirement will result in failure of the course.

Get at least a C: All students in a lab section should earn full Participation and Honest-
Effort points; these points correspond to 67% of the point total (C grade). So everybody can
earn a passing grade on this exercise. You do not need Performance points to earn a passing
grade on this exercise.

A’s and B’s guaranteed: Typically half the students in a lab section earn partial or full
Performance points. If everybody earns their Participation and Honest-Effort points, then
half the class is guaranteed to get at least a B!

85

Useful references
Check out the following references.

Sustainable weight loss: minding what matters. By Todd Essig in Forbes Magazine. First
published September 26 2011.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2011/09/26/sustainable-weight-loss-minding-
what-matters/

Weight loss and nutrition myths. By WIN Weight-control Information Network. Accessed
December 3 2011.

http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/myths.htm

The six most insane crash diets of all time. By Christina H. First published January 7, 2008.

http://www.cracked.com/article_15780_the-6-most-insane-crash-diets-all-time.html

Take the weight loss myth buster quiz at:
http://weightloss.about.com/library/quiz/blmythquiz.htm

86

Health Myth Buster – Peer Feedback Rubric

Honest effort St

ro
ng

ly

A
gr

ee

A
gr

ee

U
nd

ec
id

ed

D
is

ag
re

e

St
ro

ng
ly

D

is
ag

re
e

1. This brochure clearly states the name of the product & how it works.
It proves that product is real (e.g. picture of the ad).

2. This brochure supplies useful information showing that this product
can/cannot reduce weight. It is not just anecdotal or persuasive.

3. I learned something new when I read this brochure. This brochure
tells me more than what everybody already thinks or knows.

4. The brochure showed that real thought and effort went into it. It was
not full of egregious errors in spelling and grammar.

5. The brochure’s message was loud and clear. It was not just a collage
of unconnected statements that were difficult to follow.

Excellent performance
6. The brochure translates the hype of the product into objective

language that helps me to evaluate the claim(s) critically.

7. The brochure presents facts & arguments pro and contra the claim(s).
It explains the mode of weight loss (reduce caloric intake | increase
caloric output) and whether this product could really work.

8. The brochure then weighs these pros and cons to formulate a clear
and persuasive conclusion.

9. The brochure points out health risks and benefits (such as the weight
staying off).

10.
The brochure uses original scientific data to make the point.

What I really like about this brochure

How this brochure could be improved

87

Health Myth Buster – Peer Review Rubric

Honest effort St

ro
ng

ly

A
gr

ee

A
gr

ee

U
nd

ec
id

ed

D
is

ag
re

e

St
ro

ng
ly

D

is
ag

re
e

1. This brochure clearly states the name of the product & how it works.
It proves that product is real (e.g. picture of the ad).

2. This brochure supplies useful information showing that this product
can/cannot reduce weight. It is not just anecdotal or persuasive.

3. I learned something new when I read this brochure. This brochure
tells me more than what everybody already thinks or knows.

4. The brochure showed that real thought and effort went into it. It was
not full of egregious errors in spelling and grammar.

5. The brochure’s message was loud and clear. It was not just a collage
of unconnected statements that were difficult to follow.

Excellent performance
6. The brochure translates the hype of the product into objective

language that helps me to evaluate the claim(s) critically.

7. The brochure presents facts & arguments pro and contra the claim(s).
It explains the mode of weight loss (reduce caloric intake | increase
caloric output) and whether this product could really work.

8. The brochure then weighs these pros and cons to formulate a clear
and persuasive conclusion.

9. The brochure points out health risks and benefits (such as the weight
staying off).

10.
The brochure uses original scientific data to make the point.

Formatting requirements (check box if OK):
Reference list with the source literature
Word Count (must be 300 words or more to pass)

What I really like about this brochure

How this brochure could be improved

88

Tapeworms
You need no diet!

Fat the enemy that shortens
your life is banished.

Tapeworms make the pounds come off. Tapeworms are
intestinal parasites that usually come into our bodies with infected
food. According to Dr Stephen Juan1, “Tapeworms have no
digestive tract so they must eat food already digested by another
animal.” Hence, people infected with tapeworms lose weight
because we share the food that we ingest with the tapeworms in

our intestines.

Tapeworms keep the pounds off. According to the healthy weight
forum website2, “To expel calories, we are usually required to expend
energy through exercise as an example. The tapeworm is an
additional means of reducing the amount of calories that you absorb
WITHOUT reducing the calories that you consume. Supporters of
the tapeworm will praise this idea of dieters being able to eat
whatever they choose to eat while still losing weight.”

Tape worms are safe. According to Dr Stephen Juan, “tapeworm produce surprisingly few
physical problems for the human body”.

Well, kind of safe anyway. However, according to the Mayoclinic3, tapeworms can cause nausea,
abdominal pain and diarrhea. Tapeworms not only steal calories, they also steal nutrients. So people
infected with tapeworms may suffer from vitamin deficiency and other forms of malnutrition.
Tapeworms can also move from the intestines into other tissues; and that tissue damage can cause
damage seizures, fever or allergic reactions. So tapeworms can in rare cases cause serious problems.

Tapeworms reduce your weight only a little. The worms do not eat very much. Stadlbauer et al.
report4 that infestation in a patient that passed a 2.5 foot tapeworm segment in his stool was
“asymptomatic [and] reported no weight loss. … Infestation presumably occurred 14 months
earlier.”

Tapeworms are illegal & gross. Although featured on the Tyra Show5, tapeworms are not a legitimate weight
loss treatment and it is illegal in the US to possess tapeworms. I would never use this diet because tapeworms
grow 15 feet long in your intestines and 3 feet-long tapeworm segments will appear in your stool – parasites are
disgusting!4

1 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/27/the_odd_body_tapeworm/
2 http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/diets/tapeworm-diet/
3 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tapeworm/DS00659/DSECTION=symptoms
4 Steidlbauer V, Haberl R, Langner C, Kreijs GJ, Eherer A (2005). Annoying vacation souvenir: Fish tapeworm
(Diphyllobothrium sp.) infestation in an Austrian fisherman. Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift 117(21-22): 776-779.
5 http://www.thatsfit.com/2009/11/10/tapeworm-diet-a-crazy-way-to-lose-lbs/
Author ID: 1234; word count: 362

89

Health Myth Buster Peer Review Rubric – EXAMPLE COMPLETED BY
REVIEWER

Product Name Tapeworm

Honest effort St

ro
ng

ly

A
gr

ee

A
gr

ee

U
nd

ec
id

ed

D
is

ag
re

e

St
ro

ng
ly

D

is
ag

re
e

1. This brochure clearly states the name of the product & how it works.
It proves that product is real (e.g. picture of the ad).

X

2. This brochure supplies useful information showing that this product
can/cannot reduce weight. It is not just anecdotal or persuasive.

X

3. I learned something new when I read this brochure. This brochure
tells me more than what everybody already thinks or knows.

X

4. The brochure showed that real thought and effort went into it. It was
not full of egregious errors in spelling and grammar.

X

5. The brochure’s message was loud and clear. It was not just a collage
of unconnected statements that were difficult to follow.

X

Excellent performance
6. The brochure translates the hype of the product into objective

language that helps me to evaluate the claim(s) critically.
X

7. The brochure presents facts & arguments pro and contra the claim(s).
It explains the mode of weight loss (reduce caloric intake | increase
caloric output) and whether this product could really work.

X X

8. The brochure then weighs these pros and cons to formulate a clear
and persuasive conclusion.

X

9. The brochure points out health risks and benefits (such as the weight
staying off).

X

10.
The brochure uses original scientific data to make the point.

X

Formatting requirements (check box if OK):
X Reference list with the source literature
X Word Count (must be 300 words or more to pass)

What I really like about this brochure
The brochure structures its arguments very logically, working through the points that matter
(does it cause weight loss? | is the loss permanent? | are there side effects & health risks?). I
like the unusual choice of diet. I would never want to try that one either.

How this brochure could be improved
I would have like a larger picture of the ad; I can’t really read what it says. I would also have
liked more scientific data, not just data from one patient from one scientific paper. I would
have liked a stronger conclusion at the end that summarizes the main points, not just your
feelings about having a parasite.

90

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