Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer that is added to nearly every processed savory food. MSG can make bland food really tasty, so food producers rely heavily on it. MSG is a known neurotoxin. It loads on the same receptors in the brain as aspartic acid (ingredient in aspartame, the artificial sweetener). Both are excitotoxins that cause neuroendocrine disorders and obesity.(2)
In 1969 John W. Olney a researcher at Washington University Medical School St. Louis, Missouri, and member of the National Academy of Science, found that MSG, fed to neonatal rats, caused retinal damage, brain lesions in the hypothalmus region and grotesque obesity.(1) His findings have been confirmed by a large number of studies. The National Library of Medicine lists more than 150 studies on the link of MSG to obesity (see www.pubmed.gov) Experts on obesity ignore the fact that countries where people eat more fresh homemade food have hardly any obese people, although their diet is relatively high in fats and sugar (France and Spain).
A website that gives comprehensive information and all relevant scientific references is http://www.truthinlabeling.org/obesityepidemic.html
(1)Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated with monosodium glutamate. Science. 164(880):719-21, May 9, 1969 (2)Russell L. Blaylock, Excitotoxins, The Taste that Kills (1997) --Anathea 18:28, 5 March 2007 (EST)Anathea