Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people and programs cited recently in the media:
Peat wildfire linked to heart failure risk
United Press International
A wildfire fueled by peat that burned for weeks in North Carolina resulted in increased respiratory and cardiovascular problems, researchers say. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Pitt County Memorial Hospital and the North Carolina Division of Public Health found an increase in the number of visits for treatment of symptoms of heart failure in counties exposed to the smoke.
Snacking clue to obesity epidemic
...A team from the University of North Carolina analysed data from food surveys carried out in the seventies, eighties, nineties and the last decade. ...They suggest efforts to prevent obesity should focus on reducing the number of snacks and meals a day as well as portion size. "These findings suggest a new focus for efforts to reduce energy imbalances in US adults," write Kiyah Duffey and Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina in the journal PloS Medicine.
The American Diet Then and Now: How Snacking Is Expanding the Country's Waistline
"Good Morning America" ABC
Americans eat roughly 570 calories more per day than they did in the 1970s, according to a new study. While supersize portions are partly to blame, steady snacking is the bigger culprit. "We're a generation of constant eaters," said Barry Popkin, distinguished professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Popkin used surveys to probe the American diet since 1977. Americans began eating more in the '80s and '90s, but in recent years, they've begun eating and drinking more often -- like almost all the time.
Program Shrinks Time-to-Treatment for Heart Attack: Study
..."The work being done to coordinate what happens in hospitals and ambulances can make a big difference in getting people quicker treatment and saving more lives," lead researcher Dr. Seth Glickman, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a journal news release. "But with that said, more work is still needed to expand the integrated systems across the country and to further reduce time to treatment," he added.
Mammograms can find breast cancer, true, but cost-benefit question remains
The Los Angeles Times
Mammograms can save lives. We knew that before, and we definitely know it now. A three-decade Swedish study — the longest mammography study ever — found that inviting women to get regular mammograms cut the risk of death during the study period by at least 30%. In the world of medicine, that counts as a big success....A 2007 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who have a false alarm on a mammogram suffer from unusually high levels of anxiety that can linger for years.
Eco-survey: Hit the beach at your own risk
Skip beaches after rainstorms and avoid swimming near storm drains, says an environmental group that today releases its assessment of the nation's best and worst beaches in 2010. ...Storm runoff is the main reason beaches see spikes in offshore bacteria that lead to closings, says environmental biologist Rachel Noble of the University of North Carolina, who was not part of the report. "One caution is that some states do more testing than others, which might make them look worse," Noble says.
Egypt unprepared for September elections
The Washington Post
Egypt’s first post-revolution parliamentary elections are due to take place in just three months. But a near-total lack of preparation is prompting fears that the vote will be flawed, undermining the election’s legitimacy and marring a revolution that empowered the Egyptian people. ...“This is the most opaque process we’ve seen,” said Andrew Reynolds, an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who studies and advises on electoral systems in new democracies.
Group hopes to attract development near Mitchell Airport
The Business Journal (Milwaukee, Wis.)
...Milwaukee Aerotropolis Corp., a public-private partnership, held a presentation and press conference Tuesday about how to create an “aerotropolis” around the airport that will help attract businesses, jobs and investment to the south side of Milwaukee and the surrounding suburbs. ...The group hired John Kasarda, a professor at the University of North Carolina who created the aerotropolis concept, to create a “strategic roadmap” for Milwaukee.
Eating Habits: What’s Changed Since the 1970s?
KGO-AM (San Francisco, Calif.)
...Although it’s likely that the exact calorie values reported here are somewhat inaccurate since people may over- or under-report the amount of food they consume, the authors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill still argue that their findings suggest that efforts to prevent obesity in U.S. adults should focus on reducing the number of meals and snacks people consume during the day as well as reducing portion sizes.
State and Local Coverage
Study: Most parents unaware of teen workplace risks
The Chapel Hill Herald
Most parents are unaware of the risks their teenagers face in the workplace and could do more to help them understand and prepare for those hazards, according to a new study. Previous findings have shown that about 80 percent of teens are employed during their high school years. But the study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Injury Prevention Research Center and N.C. State University highlights the role parents play in helping their children get those jobs, and making good decisions about workplace safety and health.
Grant helping Campus Y tackle issues
The Chapel Hill Herald
With two grants totaling $62,000, the Campus Y at UNC will work with three communities close to campus to help solve environmental and social issues. The Campus Y received $52,000 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and $10,000 from Strowd Roses Inc. to pull together and strengthen various student- and community-led projects in the Abbey Court, Northside and Rogers Road neighborhoods.
Ticks win in fight over budget
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The recent state budget cuts have discontinued funding for the only state effort to measure tick-borne disease risks by directly studying ticks. ...In terms of dollars, the program is a tiny casualty of the legislature's $2.5 billion cuts in state spending for the coming year. But the program's closing is "tragic for the state," says Dr. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, president of the Tick-Borne Infections Council of North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that advocates for tick disease control and education. "They were the only resource the public had." (Dr. Herman-Giddens is an adjunct professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC.)
Survey finds 'staggeringly high rate of spanking' in North Carolina (Blog)
About a third of North Carolina mothers of children less than two years old say they have spanked their children in the last year, according to a new survey from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. ...“We were pretty surprised by the staggeringly high rate of spanking,” said Dr. Adam Zolotor, lead author of the study, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a core faculty member of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, in a press release.
UNC Health looks at WakeMed offer
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A committee set up by the UNC Health Care System to review Wake Med's $750 million, unsolicited bid to buy rival hospital Rex Healthcare is seeking public comments on the deal. ..."This is just one piece of a larger puzzle, but we felt it was important to hear from community members and patients that we serve," UNC Health spokeswoman Jennifer James said. The committee also will weigh such factors in its review as financial data, legal issues and quality of care.
Senate Bill Abolishes UNC Airport Authority
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
The legislation authorizing UNC to establish an airport authority and a new Orange County airport was repealed last week by the Government Reduction Act.
Issues and Trends
Report: Merging NC community colleges would save
The Associated Press
North Carolina's community colleges could save about $5 million a year by folding administration and back-office work at the smallest campuses into larger neighbors, a legislative efficiency report released Tuesday said. But campus leaders are balking at the proposal, saying $5 million a year in savings is small compared to the disruptions the mergers would cause.
NCAA ends investigation of UNC's Coples
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Scratch Quinton Coples from the University of North Carolina's potential headaches with the NCAA. The NCAA told UNC that Coples, an All-ACC defensive lineman, did not commit any violations in connection with a draft party for former UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin in May, according to a school spokesman.