Oreos may be as addictive as cocaine, morphine

Image Credit: MGN Online

Image Credit: MGN Online

(CBS News) – Wonder why it’s hard to stop eating Oreos once you’ve taken that first bite? A new study suggests that “America’s favorite cookie” is just as addictive as cocaine or morphine — at least in lab rats.

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” co-author Joseph Schroeder, an associate professor of neuroscience at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., said in a press release. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”

Researchers tested rats’ affinity for the chocolatey sandwich cookie in several lab experiments. Co-author Jamie Honohan explained that Oreos were chosen not only for their taste, but because they have high amounts of fat and sugar and are marketed heavily in areas where people tend to have lower socioeconomic status and higher obesity rates.

The rats were put in a maze and given either Oreos or rice cakes at the end. The researchers timed how long the rats would spend on the side of the maze where they were fed the snack. Interestingly enough, just like people, the rats split the Oreo in half and went for the creamy inside first before consuming the cookie.

The above is excerpted from CBSNews.com. Click here to read the story in full.

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3 comments

  • roberto valunza

    Yeah ive heard of people needing detox from oreos, selling their bodies amd losing everything they own over the tasty chocolate treat
    Damn you to hell nabisco

  • Dane Parker

    There’s an equivocation lurking in the background of this study concerning the concept of “addiction” as the term is being applied to cocaine, on the one hand, and when applied to Oreos on the other. Oreos are simply not psychoactive in the same sense that cocaine is.

    When we say, for example, that methamphetamine is addictive, we are saying that the chemical compound possesses the attributes of, among other things, being able to be ingested or introduced into the body in such a way that it permeates the blood brain barrier and interacts with the neurons such that the activity of neurotransmitters in the reward centers of the brain are modified by the very same compound. Oreos and sweets do not operate in this manner. There is no special chemical “Oreo” compound that binds to, say, the dopamine or GABA receptors in the neurons of the brain and agonizes them for enhanced effect.

    It is therefore misleading at best and disingenuous at worst to present this study in a way that inclines the lay public to equate very different compounds that work in very different ways as addicting people all the same.

  • Dane Parker

    There’s an equivocation lurking in the background of this study concerning the concept of “addiction” as the term is being applied to cocaine, on the one hand, and when applied to Oreos on the other. Oreos are simply not psychoactive in the same sense that cocaine is.

    When we say, for example, that methamphetamine is addictive, we are saying that the chemical compound possesses the attributes of, among other things, being able to be ingested or introduced into the body in such a way that it permeates the blood brain barrier and interacts with the neurons such that the activity of neurotransmitters in the reward centers of the brain are modified by the very same compound. Oreos and sweets do not operate in this manner. There is no special chemical “Oreo” compound that binds to, say, the dopamine or GABA receptors in the neurons of the brain and agonizes them for enhanced effect.

    It is therefore misleading at best and disingenuous at worst to present this study in a way that inclines the lay public to equate very different compounds that work in very different ways as addicting people all the same.

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