Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Andrew Weil and “integrative medicine”: The ultimate triumph of quackery? (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/andrew-weil-integrative-medicine/ Andrew Weil has been instrumental in popularizing so-called “integrative medicine,” and now he is trying to get it recognized as a medical specialty. If he succeeds, it would become virtually impossible to eliminate woo from medicine. He has applied to a third rate certifying board rather than to the official American Board of Medical Specialties where his project presumably wouldn’t have a chance.
Benedetti on Placebos (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/benedetti-on-placebos/ Fabrizio Benedetti leads a team that is studying the neurobiology of placebos. He has found real physiologic effects that are helpful in understanding how the brain responds to placebos. They do not constitute a reason to prescribe placebos in clinical practice, but they suggest ways in which the response to effective treatments can be enhanced.
Does Weight Matter? (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/does-weight-matter/ The obesity epidemic is real, and being overweight is a health risk, an independent risk factor for many diseases. The health effects must be addressed separately from the social and psychological effects of weight: size acceptance is a separate issue.
Understanding and Treating Colic (Scott Gavura) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/understanding-and-treating-colic/ Colic is a poorly understood but benign phenomenon that occurs in the first few months of life and resolves spontaneously over time. Medications and other proposed interventions are reviewed: none has been found effective. Reassurance is probably the best advice.