Connecticut College students and Professor of Neuroscience Joseph Schroeder have found Oreo cookies to be just as addictive as cocaine at least for lab rats:
In a study designed to shed light on the potential addictiveness of high-fat/ high-sugar foods, Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse.
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” Schroeder said. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
“My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food,” said neuroscience major Jamie Honohan ’13. “We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses.”
The research showed the rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the “drug” side of the maze as the rats conditioned with cocaine or morphine. Oh, and they also ate the middle first.
Oreo...the addict's favorite cookie. True story.
Connecticut College News...Student-faculty research shows Oreos are just as addictive as drugs in lab rats
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