Why I Look at Data Differently

Emily Oster

11 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

A question I get frequently: Why does my analysis often disagree with groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics or other national bodies, or other public health experts, or Andrew Huberman (lately I get that last one a lot)? The particular context is often in observational studies of topics in nutrition or development.

Some examples:

The recent analysis of processed food and cancer is emblematic of many of these cases. In that post, I argued that the relationship observed in the data was extremely likely to reflect correlation and not causation. My argument rested on the observation that people who ate differently also differed on many other features.

In response, a reader wrote in this question:

You emphasize causation vs. correlation, and I think you are pointing to potential confounders that could actually be the root cause of the findings. My question is — can’t and don’t study researchers control for that in their analysis? Can’t they look at the link between screen time and academic success while keeping potential confounders equal across the comparison groups? And if so, wouldn’t that help rule out the impact of other factors and strengthen the case that there is a true link?

This is a very good question, and it clarifies for me where many of the disagreements lie.

The questioner essentially notes: the reason we know that the processed food groups differ a lot is that the authors can see the characteristics of individuals. But because they see these characteristics, they can adjust for them (using statistical tools). While it’s true that education levels are higher among those who eat less processed food, by adjusting for education we can come closer to comparing people with the same education level who eat different kinds of food.

However, in typical data you cannot observe and adjust for all differences. You do not see everything about people. Sometimes this is simply because our variables are rough: we see whether someone has a family income above or below the poverty line, but not any more details, and those details are important. There are also characteristics we almost never capture in data, like How much do you like exercise? or How healthy are your partner’s behaviors? or even Where is the closest farmers’ market? 

For both of these reasons, in nearly all examples, we worry about residual confounding. That’s the concern that there are still other important differences across groups that might drive the results. Most papers list this possibility in their “limitations” section.

We all agree that this is a concern. Where we differ is in how much of a limitation we believe it to be. In my view, in these contexts (and in many others), residual confounding is so significant a factor that it is hopeless to try to learn causality from this type of observational data. 

This position drives a lot of my concerns with existing research. Thinking about these issues is a huge part of my research and teaching. So I thought I’d spend a little time today explaining why I hold this position. I’m going to start with theory and then discuss two pieces of evidence.

A quick note: this post focuses on concerns about approaches which take non-randomized data and argue for causality based on including observed controls. There are other approaches to non-randomized data (i.e. difference-in-difference, event studies) which have stronger causality claims. See some discussion of those in this older post.

Theory

Conceptually, the gold standard for causality is a randomized controlled trial. In the canonical version of such a trial, researchers randomly allocate half of their participants to treatment and half to control. They then follow them over time and compare outcomes. The key is that because you randomly choose who is in the treatment group, you expect them, on average, to be the same as the control other than the presence of the treatment. So you can get a causal effect of treatment by comparing the groups.

Randomized trials are great but not always possible. A lot of what is done in public health and economics aims to estimate causal effects without randomized trials. The key to doing this is to isolate a source of randomness in some treatment, even if that randomization is not explicit.

For example: Imagine that you’re interested in the effect of going to a selective high school on college enrollment. One simple thing to do would be to compare the students who went to the selective high school with those who did not. But this would be tricky, because there are so many other differences across the students.

Now imagine that the way that admission to the high school works is based on a test score: if you get a score above some cutoff, you get in, and if you are below, you do not. With that kind of mechanism, we can get closer to causality. Let’s say the cutoff score is 150. You’ve got some students who scored 149 and some who scored 150. The second group gets in, the first doesn’t. But their scores are really similar. It may be reasonable to claim that it is effectively random whether you got 149 or 150 — the difference is so small, it could happen by chance. In that case, you can try to figure out the causal effect of the selective high school by comparing the students just above the cutoff with those just below.

This particular technique is called regression discontinuity; it’s part of a suite of approaches to estimate causal effects that take advantage of these moments of randomness in the world. The moments do not need to be truly random, but they do need to be driving the treatment and not driving the outcome you are interested in.

We can take this lens to the kind of observational data that we often consider. Let’s return to the processed food and cancer example. The approach in that paper was to compare people who ate a lot of processed food with those who ate less. Clearly, in raw terms, this would be unacceptable because there are huge differences across those groups. The authors argue, though, that once they control for those differences, they have mostly addressed this issue.

This argument comes down to: once I control for the variables I see, the choice about processed food is effectively random, or at least unrelated to other aspects of health.

I find this fundamentally unpalatable. Take two people who have the same level of income, the same education, and the same preexisting conditions, and one of them eats a lot of processed food and the other eats a lot of whole grains and fresh vegetables. I contend that those people are still different. That their choice of food isn’t effectively random — it’s related to other things about them, things we cannot see. Adding more and more controls doesn’t necessarily make this problem better. You’re isolating smaller and smaller groups, but still you have to ask why people are making different food choices.

Food is a huge part of our lives, and our choices about it are not especially random. Sure, it may be random whether I have a sandwich or a salad for lunch today, but whether I’m eating a bag of Cheetos or a tomato and avocado on whole-grain toast — that is simply not random and not unrelated to other health choices.

This is where, perhaps, I conceptually differ from others. I have to imagine that researchers doing this work do not hold this view. It must be that they think that once we adjust for the observed controls, the differences across people are random, or at least are unrelated to other elements of their health.

This is a theoretical disagreement. But there are at least two things in data that have really reinforced my view — one from my own research and one example from my books.

Selection on observables: Vitamins

Underlying the issue of correlation versus causation are human choices. This is especially true in nutrition. The reason it is hard to learn about causality is that different people make different choices. One of the possible reasons for those different choices is different information, or different processing of information.

A few years ago, I got curious about the role of information — of news — in driving these choices, and I wrote a paper that looked at what happened to health behaviors after changes in health information. I wrote at more length about that paper here, but the basic idea was to analyze who adopts new health behaviors when news comes out suggesting those behaviors are good.

The main application is vitamin E. In the early 1990s, a study came out suggesting vitamin E supplements improved health. What happened as a result was that more people took vitamin E. But not just any people. The new adopters were more educated, richer, more likely to exercise, less likely to smoke, more likely to eat vegetables. In turn, over time, as these people started taking the vitamin, vitamin E started to look even better for health.

Over a period of about a decade, vitamin E went from being only mildly associated with lower mortality to being strongly associated with lower mortality. This is not because the impacts of the vitamin changed! It was because the people who took the vitamin changed. And, importantly, these patterns persisted even when I put in controls.

What this says to me is that these biases in our conclusions — and I saw this in vitamins, but also in sugar and fat — are malleable based on the information out there in the world. Once you acknowledge that what is going on here is people are reading news and reacting to it in different ways, it is hard to believe that the limited observable characteristics we can control for are enough.

Evolving coefficients: Breastfeeding

The second important data point for me is looking carefully at what happens in many of these situations when we introduce more and better controls.

The link between breastfeeding and IQ is a good example. This is a research space where you can find many, many papers showing a positive correlation. The concern, of course, is that moms who breastfeed tend to be more educated, have higher income, and have access to more resources. These variables are also known to be linked to IQ, so it’s difficult to isolate the impacts of breastfeeding.

What these papers typically do is control for some observable differences. And, like the discussion above, we might think, “Well, isn’t that enough? If we can see these detailed demographics, isn’t that going to address the problem?”

The paper I like the best to illustrate the fact that, no, that doesn’t address the problem is one that used data that — among other things — included sibling pairs. The authors of this paper do four analyses of the relationship between breastfeeding and IQ:

  1. Raw correlation — no adjustment for anything
  2. Regression adjusting for standard demographics (parental education, etc.)
  3. Regression adjusting for standard demographics plus adjusting for mom IQ score
  4. Within-sibling analysis: compare two siblings, one of whom was breastfed and one of whom was not

The graph below shows their results. When they just compare groups — without adjusting for any other differences — there is a large difference in IQ between breastfed and non-breastfed children. When they add in some demographic adjustments, this difference falls but is still statistically significant. This is where most papers stop. But as these authors add their additional controls, eventually they get to an effect of zero. Comparing across siblings, there is no difference at all.

The point of this discussion is not to get in the weeds on breastfeeding (you can read my whole chapter from Cribsheet about it). This is an illustrative example of a general issue: the control sets we typically consider are incomplete. There are a lot of papers that report effectively only the first two bars in the graph above. But those simple observable controls are just not sufficient. The residual confounding is real and it is significant.

(If you want another example, you can look back to the very similar kind of graph in Panic Headlines from last week. This problem is everywhere.)

Conclusions

The question of whether a controlled effect in observational data is “causal” is inherently unanswerable. We are worried about differences between people that we cannot observe in the data. We can’t see them, so we must speculate about whether they are there. Based on a couple of decades of working intensely on these questions in both my research and my popular writing, I think they are almost always there. I think they are almost always important, and that a huge share of the correlations we see in observational data are not close to causal.

There are two final notes on this.

First: A common approach in these papers is to hedge in the conclusion by saying, “Well, it might not be causal.” I find this hedge problematic. If the relationship between processed food and cancer isn’t causal, why do we care about it? The obvious interpretation of this result is that you should stop eating processed foods. But if the result isn’t causal, that interpretation is wrong. This hedge is a cop-out. And this approach — to bury the hedge in the conclusion — encourages the poorly informed and inflammatory media coverage that often follows.

Second: I recognize that other people may disagree and find these relationships more compelling. I believe we can have productive conversations about that. To my mind, though, these conversations need to be grounded in the theory I started with. That is, if you want to argue that there is a causal relationship between processed food and cancer, you need to be willing to make a case that you’re approximating a randomized trial with your analysis. If we focus our discussion on that claim, it will discipline our disagreements.

And last: Thank you for indulging my love of econometrics today. My dad may be the only person who gets this far in the newsletter, but even so, it was worth it. Back with more parenting content on Thursday.

Dec 05 2022

12 min read

Where Does Data Come From?

Weight and weighting

Emily Oster
A child holds up an abacus with green and red beads arranged to look like a data chart.

Aug 10 2023

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Data Literacy for Parenting

The ParentData mission statement (it’s on my door!) is “To create the most data-literate generation of parents.” The other day, Read more

Emily Oster
An illustration of a head, with the top opening up to reveal a rainbow of colors against a blue background.

Oct 10 2023

10 min read

I Hit My Head and Learned Three Lessons

At the end of September, I went to a conference in Denver. The first morning, I went for a run Read more

Emily Oster

Instagram

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Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there! 

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there!

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife
...

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens. 

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children. 

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens.

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children.

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata
...

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips
...

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks
...

As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData! 

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity

As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData!

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity
...

Just eat your Cheerios and move on.

Just eat your Cheerios and move on. ...

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide
...

It was an absolute pleasure to be featured on the @tamronhallshow! We talked about all things data-driven parenting and, in this clip, what I call the plague of secret parenting. To balance having a career and having a family, we can’t hide the fact that we’re parents. If mothers and fathers at the top can speak more openly about child-care obligations, it will help us all set a new precedent.

Watch the full segment at the link in my bio 🔗

#tamronhall #tamronhallshow #emilyoster #parentingsupport #workingparents

It was an absolute pleasure to be featured on the @tamronhallshow! We talked about all things data-driven parenting and, in this clip, what I call the plague of secret parenting. To balance having a career and having a family, we can’t hide the fact that we’re parents. If mothers and fathers at the top can speak more openly about child-care obligations, it will help us all set a new precedent.

Watch the full segment at the link in my bio 🔗

#tamronhall #tamronhallshow #emilyoster #parentingsupport #workingparents
...

Invisible labor. It’s the work — in our households especially — that has to happen but that no one sees. It’s making the doctor’s appointment, ensuring birthday cards are purchased, remembering the milk.

My guest on this episode, @everodsky, has come up with a solution here, or at least a way for us to recognize the problem and make our own solutions. I’ve wanted to speak with Eve for ages, since I read her book Fair Play. We had a great conversation about the division of household labor, one I think you’ll get a lot out of!

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #householdtips #fairplay #invisiblelabor

Invisible labor. It’s the work — in our households especially — that has to happen but that no one sees. It’s making the doctor’s appointment, ensuring birthday cards are purchased, remembering the milk.

My guest on this episode, @everodsky, has come up with a solution here, or at least a way for us to recognize the problem and make our own solutions. I’ve wanted to speak with Eve for ages, since I read her book Fair Play. We had a great conversation about the division of household labor, one I think you’ll get a lot out of!

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #householdtips #fairplay #invisiblelabor
...

Prenatal vitamins 💊 If there is any product that seems designed to prey on our fears, it’s this one. You’re newly pregnant and you want to do it right. Everyone agrees you need prenatal vitamins, so you get them. But do you want to be that person who just… buys the generic prenatal vitamins?

Good news: fancier vitamins are not better.  Folic acid is the most important prenatal ingredient. Iron (with vitamin C) and DHA are also nice to have. Other included ingredients have only weak or no evidence to support their use. (If you do not consume animal products, add B12, plus a few others depending on your diet.)

Vitamins are just vitamins. Any prenatal vitamin that contains these is enough. 

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article with everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins.

#emilyoster #parentdata #prenatalvitamins #pregnancydiet #pregnancytips

Prenatal vitamins 💊 If there is any product that seems designed to prey on our fears, it’s this one. You’re newly pregnant and you want to do it right. Everyone agrees you need prenatal vitamins, so you get them. But do you want to be that person who just… buys the generic prenatal vitamins?

Good news: fancier vitamins are not better. Folic acid is the most important prenatal ingredient. Iron (with vitamin C) and DHA are also nice to have. Other included ingredients have only weak or no evidence to support their use. (If you do not consume animal products, add B12, plus a few others depending on your diet.)

Vitamins are just vitamins. Any prenatal vitamin that contains these is enough.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article with everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins.

#emilyoster #parentdata #prenatalvitamins #pregnancydiet #pregnancytips
...

When it comes to introducing your newborn to the world, timing matters. It’s a good idea to minimize germ exposure in the first 6-8 weeks; after that, it’s inevitable and, very likely, a good idea! This doesn’t mean you need to be trapped inside. The most significant exposure risks are from seeing other people at home — family, etc. These interactions are not infinitely risky, but they do pose more risk than a walk or a trip to the grocery store, since they involve closer interaction. Think simple and make sure everyone is washing their hands before holding the baby. 💛

#parentdata #emilyoster #newborncare #parentingadvice #parentingtips

When it comes to introducing your newborn to the world, timing matters. It’s a good idea to minimize germ exposure in the first 6-8 weeks; after that, it’s inevitable and, very likely, a good idea! This doesn’t mean you need to be trapped inside. The most significant exposure risks are from seeing other people at home — family, etc. These interactions are not infinitely risky, but they do pose more risk than a walk or a trip to the grocery store, since they involve closer interaction. Think simple and make sure everyone is washing their hands before holding the baby. 💛

#parentdata #emilyoster #newborncare #parentingadvice #parentingtips
...

The first edition of Hot Flash is out now! Comment “Link” for a DM to learn more about the late-reproductive stage.

There are times when we expect hormonal shifts. Our reproductive lives are bookended by puberty and menopause. We discuss those changes often because they are definitive and dramatic — a first period is something many of us remember clearly. But between ages 13 and 53, our hormones are changing in more subtle ways. During the late-reproductive stage (in your 40s), you can expect a lot of changes in your menstrual cycle, including the length and symptoms you experience throughout. It’s an important time in our lives that is often overlooked!

🔥 Hot Flash from ParentData is a weekly newsletter on navigating your health and hormones in the post-reproductive years. Written by Dr. Gillian Goddard, Hot Flash provides all of the information you need to have a productive, evidence-based conversation about hormonal health with your doctor.

#emilyoster #parentdata #hotflash #perimenopause #womenshealth

The first edition of Hot Flash is out now! Comment “Link” for a DM to learn more about the late-reproductive stage.

There are times when we expect hormonal shifts. Our reproductive lives are bookended by puberty and menopause. We discuss those changes often because they are definitive and dramatic — a first period is something many of us remember clearly. But between ages 13 and 53, our hormones are changing in more subtle ways. During the late-reproductive stage (in your 40s), you can expect a lot of changes in your menstrual cycle, including the length and symptoms you experience throughout. It’s an important time in our lives that is often overlooked!

🔥 Hot Flash from ParentData is a weekly newsletter on navigating your health and hormones in the post-reproductive years. Written by Dr. Gillian Goddard, Hot Flash provides all of the information you need to have a productive, evidence-based conversation about hormonal health with your doctor.

#emilyoster #parentdata #hotflash #perimenopause #womenshealth
...

There are plenty of reels telling you how to parent. Plenty of panic headlines saying that “studies show” what’s best for your kid. Even good data, from a trusted source, can send us into a spiral of comparison. But I want you to remember that no one knows your kid better than you. It’s important to absorb the research, but only you will know the approach that works best for you and your child. 💙

Now tell me in the comments: what’s a parenting move you’ve made recently that feels right to you?

#parentingcommunity #parentingsupport #parentingquotes #emilyoster #parentdata

There are plenty of reels telling you how to parent. Plenty of panic headlines saying that “studies show” what’s best for your kid. Even good data, from a trusted source, can send us into a spiral of comparison. But I want you to remember that no one knows your kid better than you. It’s important to absorb the research, but only you will know the approach that works best for you and your child. 💙

Now tell me in the comments: what’s a parenting move you’ve made recently that feels right to you?

#parentingcommunity #parentingsupport #parentingquotes #emilyoster #parentdata
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Let’s talk about sex (after) baby! Today on the podcast, I was lucky enough to speak with @enagoski about her new book on sexual connection in long-term relationships. Especially after having kids, this is something many people struggle with. Emily tells us to stop worrying about what’s “normal” and focus on pleasure in its many forms.

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #emilyoster #emilynagoski #comeasyouare #cometogether #longtermrelationship #intimacy #relationships

Let’s talk about sex (after) baby! Today on the podcast, I was lucky enough to speak with @enagoski about her new book on sexual connection in long-term relationships. Especially after having kids, this is something many people struggle with. Emily tells us to stop worrying about what’s “normal” and focus on pleasure in its many forms.

Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #emilyoster #emilynagoski #comeasyouare #cometogether #longtermrelationship #intimacy #relationships
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Ever wondered if you can safely use leftover baby formula? 🍼 The CDC says to throw out unused formula immediately because of the risk of bacterial growth. However, research suggests that bacterial concentrations do not appreciably increase after 3, 12, or even 24 hours at refrigerator temperatures. Good news! This means there’s not a strong data-based reason to throw out formula right away if you store it in the fridge.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on another common formula question: should you throw away old formula powder?

#emilyoster #parentdata #babyformula #babyfeeding #parentingstruggles

Ever wondered if you can safely use leftover baby formula? 🍼 The CDC says to throw out unused formula immediately because of the risk of bacterial growth. However, research suggests that bacterial concentrations do not appreciably increase after 3, 12, or even 24 hours at refrigerator temperatures. Good news! This means there’s not a strong data-based reason to throw out formula right away if you store it in the fridge.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on another common formula question: should you throw away old formula powder?

#emilyoster #parentdata #babyformula #babyfeeding #parentingstruggles
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What’s the most important piece of advice for new parents? Here’s one answer, but I want to hear from you! Share your suggestions in the comments ⬇️

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentingtips #parentingadvice #newparents #parentingcommunity

What’s the most important piece of advice for new parents? Here’s one answer, but I want to hear from you! Share your suggestions in the comments ⬇️

#emilyoster #parentdata #parentingtips #parentingadvice #newparents #parentingcommunity
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What's in the bag of a Vagina Economist? 👀 Someone please tell me this looks familiar to you.

What`s in the bag of a Vagina Economist? 👀 Someone please tell me this looks familiar to you. ...