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Ep. 27: What Health Secrets Do Our Grocery Receipts Hold?

While Emily Oster was pregnant, she evaluated data behind many of the accepted rules of pregnancy. (Should you drink caffeine? Is sushi OK?) She says most advice given to moms-to-be is wrong. More recently, she’s been studying how grocery store purchases change once a person has been diagnosed with a health challenge like diabetes. The household scanner data “helps us look at people outside of a monitored health setting, and really see in the real world what are the changes people make, what changes are impossible to make, and who is able to change a lot,” she says.

Emily Oster is an Associate Professor of Economics at Brown University. Her book is called Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know.


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