A study from Connecticut College shows that Oreo cookies are as addictive as cocaine (at least for lab rats).
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” assistant professor of neuroscience Joseph Schroeder said. The professor speculated that the stimulation “may be one reason people have trouble staying away from them and it may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.”
Students put rats in two different mazes: one where one path led to rice cakes and another to Oreos, and one that gave rats an an injection of saline or cocaine depending on which side of the maze they ended up in. The rats spent as much time on the Oreo side of the maze as they did the cocaine one, and when their brains were measured for pleasure-related activity, Oreos had resulted in more neurons’ being activated.
Schroeder said that he hasn’t touched an Oreo since the experiment. The study will be presented at the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego next month.