Why are Oreo cookies so addictive?
Yummm, Oreo cookies. Who doesn’t love Oreo cookies? Has it ever happened to you that you start eating one oreo and end up eating the whole packet without any resistance? It’s not just you, it’s all the oreo consumers out there. A new study from Connecticut College shows that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats. Eating the unresistant black and white cookies activated more neurons in the rat brain’s “pleasure center” than drugs such as cocaine.
The research looked at the rats behaviors and the effects the cookies had on their brains. Rats were put into a maze and given the choice of hanging out near rice cakes or Oreos. The tasty sandwich iconic black and white cookies were chosen. Those results were compared to a different test. Rats were given the choice of loitering in an area of a maze in that test. They were injected with saline or in other corners where there was cocaine or morphine. The rats in the study liked the cookies as much as they liked the drugs. They mustered near the cookie side of the maze as much as they did on the drug side.
Rats also prefer the delicious creamy center to the cookie as much as humans. “They would break it open and eat the middle first,” said one of the students who worked on the study.
“These findings suggest that high fat/sugar foods and drugs of abuse trigger brain addictive processes to the same degree and lend support to the hypothesis that maladaptive eating behaviors contributing to obesity can be compared to drug addiction,” Schroeder’s team writes in a statement describing the study. “Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating them,” Schroeder said.
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