We're all affected by addictions

Many of us treat drug addicts with pity or contempt. Only rarely do we stop to think, "There but for the grace of God go I."

But the meaning of the word "addiction" includes "persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful."

"60 Minutes" recently aired a segment on food addiction. Did you now that virtually all packaged food is designed to create cravings for more? That monosodium glutamate (MSG) activates certain pleasure centers in the brain? That food labels often hide MSG under innocuous-sounding ingredient names like "natural flavorings"?

Did you know that since Minnesota went smoke-free in the workplace, there has been a steep drop in heart-related deaths? Did you know that there is no "safe" level of exposure to secondhand smoke?

And, did you know that a Mayo Clinic physician gave a 20-minute report on the results and benefits of the smoke-free workplace law at the Aug. 14 Olmsted County Board meeting? (You can get a DVD copy of this presentation at the Government Center for $10.)


Thank you, "60 Minutes" and Mayo Clinic, for your research and for making it available to us.

Barbara Upton


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