5 Stories

School's Plan to Boost Test Scores: Feed Kids Placebos

Florida elementary school students given 'FCAT PowerBars'

(Newser) - A Florida elementary school wants its students to perform better on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test … so it's feeding them "placebos." Hagen Road Elementary students will be given an "FCAT PowerBar"—aka an apple-flavored cereal bar with a label reading, "Warning: Improves Writing... More »

Placebo Effect Works— Even if You Know Pill Is Fake

But a positive doctor-patient relationship thought to be essential

(Newser) - Turns out the placebo effect can work—even if the patient knows the pills he’s taking are fake. Researchers gave 40 people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome pills and explained they were like sugar pills—the bottle even had the word “placebo” on it—that patients had to... More »

Half of US Docs Prescribe Placebos

Many physicians believe in psychological impact of prescriptions

(Newser) - Half of US doctors admit prescribing drugs to patients just for the placebo effect—to make them think they are taking something beneficial, reports the Chicago Tribune. As many as 56% prescribed antibiotics, painkillers, vitamins, and sedatives in cases where they didn't expect them to have any benefit physically, but... More »

Maid Study Challenges Diet Notions

What we think affects our fitness, study suggests

(Newser) - People can shed weight more easily if their brain tells them they can, a new study suggests. A Harvard psychologist found that when she informed hotel maids about how much exercise they get just doing their jobs, they became more fit within a month, NPR reports. A similar group of... More »

Need an Edge? Try Performance Enhancing Placebos

Athletes need only think they're cheating

(Newser) - If there’s nothing actually illegal in your steroid injection, is it still cheating? Placebos, long one of medicine’s top tools, can act as performance enhancing drugs, a new study has proven. The study pitted athletic young men against each other in a pain-endurance contest. Those given a morphine... More »

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