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.