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Newspapers are like a box of chocolates

The word addict has gotten a bad rap. Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, but don’t tell that to the folks who write dictionaries.

After the definition in my dictionary, the authors include a sentence to help provide some context for the word. My dictionary uses the sentence: She became addicted to alcohol and diet pills.

Chemical addictions can be deadly, damaging and downright terrifying.

But most of us have smaller, less harmful addictions in our life.

How many of us enjoy a piece of chocolate now and then?

Statistically, quite a few of us do, since the average American consumes more than 11 pounds of the stuff each year.

Chocolate isn’t really a necessity of life. If chocolate somehow vanished off the face of the earth tomorrow, none of us would cease to exist, though I’d argue one of life’s little pleasures would be extinct.

I say that because chocolate is something I like to consume.

An article published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that chocolate may not just taste good, but it might make you smarter, too, at least sort of.

The article, titled “Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates,” considered an interesting fact: Apparently more Nobel Prize winners hail from countries with high chocolate consumption.

It’s difficult to argue with a graph published with the article. Clearly more Nobel winners come from more chocolately countries.

Switzerland, for example, has nearly three times the number of Nobel Prize winners per capita, while their people consume twice as much chocolate per year.

Maybe they’re addicted to chocolate and maybe, just maybe that addiction makes them smarter.

Similarly if you’re one of the three out of four Miss-Lou residents who say they read The Democrat’s print edition in the past week, you may be addicted.

Newspapers aren’t really sweet if you just look at them or touch them, but when you use your brain and consume what’s inside, the goodness inside can be pretty satisfying — and addictive.

Some of our readers love local news; some like reading obituaries to connect to the lives our community has lost.

Others go straight to sports scores, or maybe it’s the crossword puzzle or the classified ads.

More than half of the population reports consuming advertising messages in the newspaper to help them know about sales and other events in the community.

Newspapers are, as fictional character Forrest Gump might say, “Like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

But that’s the beauty of the newspaper — and why I love them so much — they have a little something for everyone and, for those who enjoy them, they can be quite addictive.

Newspaper readership can also make you smarter and more informed about the world around you.

Of course, if you win a Nobel Prize, well, that’s just icing on the chocolate newspaper cake.


Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.