Diet

New Study: Oreos Are as Addictive as Cocaine (Duh)

Research reveals what we've all known for years -- You eat one Oreo, you need more

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A study conducted at Connecticut College has determined that Oreos, America's favorite cookies, are as addictive as cocaine and morphine. To lab rats, anyway.

Now, while these findings won't come as much of a shock to anyone/everyone who's ever wolfed down an entire sleeve of those suckers without missing a beat, they do help to prove what the researches set out to establish: that we (and rats) gravitate towards high-fat and high-sugar foods.

Senior Jamie Honohan, a neuroscience major who devised the study to determine the impact such "junk" foods have on low-income neighborhoods, explains; "My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food. 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."

READ: Make Over My Snacks

Honohan and her helpers designed a two-sided maze, one side of which would deliver rats to cookie heaven, the other to rice cake hell. You don't need a degree in science to figure out which side was the more heavily trafficked, but, here's an interesting tidbit...the rats, like the most savvy Oreo devotees, "broke open [the cookie] to eat the middle first."

Not only that, but as Gawker reports, "The researchers compared the results of their study to a similar study in which rats were either given a shot of cocaine or morphine on one side of the maze or a shot of saline on the other. It turns out that the rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the "drug" side of the maze as those who were conditioned with actual drugs."

Oh, and then there's this little tidbit that we're pretty sure Nabisco marketers won't be putting on the packaging any time soon. "Oreos activated significantly more neurons [in the rats' brains] than cocaine or morphine."

The researchers' takeaway from their findings? Something that will undoubtedly be music to anyone who's ever battled their bulge's ears. "Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do," Professor Joseph Schroeder says. "It may explain why some people can't resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them."

And, as Honohan points out, it may be time to classify these "foods" as the dangerous substances they really are. "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."

Do the results of this study surprise you or do they make total sense? And, tell us; when was the last time you had an Oreo (or 6)?

READ: Never Have Another Junk Food Craving. Ever

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