This weekend’s links are all about one of my favourite activities — debunking health myths.

Coffee, wine and sushi! New pregnancy book says OK. An interview with author Emily Oster, whose new book, Expecting Better, analyzes pregnancy-related medical research from an economist’s point of view, rather than that of a scientist or medical doctor. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this highly-controversial read — controversial, of course, because she has no medical background, and many of her findings directly contradict recommendations of organizations such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynacologists.

Take back your pregnancy. Emily Oster talks about her book, and some of the research behind it. A little sneak preview, if you will.

How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby? Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, makes the argument that 40 may be the new 30 when it comes to women’s fertility. “Millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment. Most people assume these numbers are based on large, well-conducted studies of modern women, but they are not.”

Bed Rest to Prevent Preterm Birth Both Ineffective and Harmful. Bed rest has long been prescribed for women who are at risk of pre-term labour, but is it actually effective, according to the numbers? New research suggests that restricting activity during pregnancy may in fact increase the risk of preterm labour!

The Cholesterol Myth That Could Be Harming Your Health. I’m not a huge fan of all of Dr. Mercola’s work, but this is a very good (albeit wordy) explanation of why mainstream medicine has the cholesterol thing all wrong. I would like to subtitle this one, Why I’m not going to die of a heart attack from eating half a dozen eggs each day 🙂 .

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics.

6 responses to “WEEKEND WEB SURF

  1. Wonderful selection Carli, thanks so much for these nice readings!
    Jean Twenge’s article is really a must-read in my opinion; so smart and rich and well-documented! I also agree with you that Dr Mercola’s piece on cholesterol is really good (and completely consistent with what others said—Chris Kresser and Michel De Lorgeril among others). However I personally found Emily Oyster’s arguments very weak; I think the data she reports constitute very weak evidence that a little bit of alcohol during alcohol is fine (I’m agnostic on the topic and think it might well be true, it’s just that I don’t think she presents a strong case for that stance). And I think that her “argument” (in effect sophism) that one can gain a lot of weight during pregnancy while not worrying at all about it is stupid.

    Thanks again for all this food for thought 🙂

  2. I just wanted to add that it’s not from the perspective of an economist per se, but rather, from the perspective of someone who can read and analyze data. And, i might go so far as to say, a medical dr is not necessarily capable of this 😉

  3. Thanks so much for the article on how long you can wait to have a baby. I am 34 and still single, so this gives me hope!

  4. Hi Carli,

    Thank you for posting this! As you know, I had a heart attack just before Christmas. I was put on lipitor. I don’t really like it and have questioned whether out not I really need it. I would much rather treat high cholesterol with diet and exercise and will be discussing this article with my cardiologist.

  5. Very interesting, I just found out I’m pregnant and was drinking a strong coffee a day up until yesterday, and I’m 34 so was worried about that being a problem too, maybe not!

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