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) 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) 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) 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) 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.