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Oreo Cookies Linked to Cocaine

Oct. 23, 2013|624 views
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What? Are America’s favorite cookies addictive? Can it possibly be true that eating an Oreo has more in common with abusing cocaine than say, eating animal crackers? Yes. That’s what new research by Connecticut College scientists appears to suggest.

Of course, the research involved lab rats, not humans. But the rats found the high-fat/high-sugar packaged treats t...o be as irresistible as highly addictive—and damaging—drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and morphine. The only difference? More brain cells in the animals’ pleasure centers were activated when they ate Oreos than when they were exposed to drugs of abuse.

James Schroeder is an associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program at the college. In a press release, he said: “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do...It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods...that they know...are bad for them.”

Like humans, rats preferred to break the cookies open and eat the sugary middle first. Rats appeared to crave the cookies more than cocaine or morphine. And that has troubling implications for problems linked to poor diet, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat/ high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability,” said neuroscience major, Jamie Honohan. Honohan instigated the research because she’s interested in the apparent link between the prevalence of unhealthful foods in low-income neighborhoods and the obesity epidemic.

How about you? What foods do you crave? Leave your comments below and I’ll post easy tricks you can use to get rid of your food cravings in one week.

Connecticut College (2013, October 15). Are Oreos addictive? Research says yes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from­/ /releases/2013/10/131015123341.htm

Tags:  chemicals beware, obesity