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Oreos Might Be as Addictive as Cocaine

Oreos Might Be as Addictive as Cocaine

Milk’s, and really nearly everyone’s, favorite cookie is hiding a dark secret. According to researchers at Connecticut College, Oreos have been found to be as addictive as cocaine and morphine.

It looks like those of us who mindlessly munch on the snack cookie may have been on to something when we said they’re basically crack. Apparently, it’s the “stuff” in the middle that really gets to us. Through a series of tests, it was determined that lab rats enjoy Oreos as much as they do cocaine or morphine. In fact, Oreos activated more neurons than either drug.

As impressive as these findings sound, it is important to remember that Oreos were not tested directly against the drugs. The study that produced the addictive Oreo findings tested the ratsí partiality to the snack cookie or rice cakes. As the leader of the research team, Joseph Schroeder said, “Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating rice cakes.”

A similar test took place determining rats’ preference of either saline or drugs. The Oreo test showed lab rats eating the cookie spent as much time on that side of the test as they did when they participated in the drug test. A more amusing finding of the study showed that rats, like most humans, prefer the filling to the cookie exterior.

This research somewhat supports the idea that foods high in fat and sugar stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do. It also may help shed light on why people continue to eat food they know is bad for them, contributing to the obesity epidemic. If people can actually become addicted to food like Oreos, they may not be fully in control of their eating habits and resulting health.

Whatever the long-term implications of this study may be, it is certain that Oreo lovers everywhere are a little sadder today. The only way this bad news about the 100-year-old snack could be topped is if it were announced that bacon was bad for male fertility. Oh wait, that was just discovered too.

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145 comments

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12:46PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Glad I don't eat oreos!

4:20PM PST on Nov 7, 2013

I have done both Oreos and cocaine and I assure you Cocaine is much more addictive. I have been sober for 3 yrs. but still eat Oreos! =)

11:38AM PST on Nov 5, 2013

Don't eat Oreos...has neve been my cookie of choice. Love applesauce cookies, homemade.

11:15AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

Gee and I've never liked them. I'm one lucky girl.

7:34PM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

ty

9:23AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

RE: the rats preferring cocaine to food: I have recently learned that the rats in that experiment were isolated in cages and given no form of exercise or entertainment or interaction with other rats. A similar experiment was done with rats in a rat-friendly environment, with grass and places to hide and other rats to play with. The rats clearly preferred socialization with other rats to cocaine. It's quite possible that addiction to cocaine (or Oreos, for that matter) is not a simple physiological process, but is in fact mediated by the richness of the social environment and the level of stress a person (or rat) is under. It is possible that if we improved living conditions for humans, neither Oreos nor Cocaine would be seriously addictive. Makes ya think, eh?

---- Steve

6:50AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

Very cute! Thank-you!

6:00AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

I don't really like Oreos, and actually like the outside better than the middle.
The Golden Oreos are better though.

3:10AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

Thanks.

2:51AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

I am sure that people will even by and eat more after reading this article .

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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