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May 17, 2010

Why our salt addiction is hard to kick
Americans love salt. And we eat too much of it. So much so that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is thinking about limiting the amount of sodium in packaged foods. ...Indeed, the increasing levels of sodium in our diets -- and especially in processed foods -- over the past several decades have created what amounts to a "cultural addiction" to the taste of salt, says Philip J. Klemmer, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina Kidney Center, in Chapel Hill.

Lyme advocates want town to curb deer
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Victims of Lyme disease and their advocates have pleaded with the Chapel Hill Town Council to do something about the growing deer population. Some think deer carry the ticks that carry Lyme disease, an illness that can cause long-term fatigue, brain inflammation, muscle pain and facial paralysis. ..."When they had typhoid in Rome, they had to kill the rats," said Dr. David Clemmons, a professor at UNC's medical school. "This is a serious public health problem." But state public-health veterinarian Carl Williams said no studies have proved whether reducing the deer population would reduce episodes of Lyme disease.

BCBS to expand hospital presence
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The state's largest health insurer plans to expand a program that puts its customer-service employees on-site at hospitals. Blue Cross and Blue Shield started a partnership with WakeMed in Raleigh a year ago to improve customer service for the insurer's members, and to speed claims processing. The insurer began a similar program with UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill in December.

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