(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.
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