Lab rats find Oreo cookies to be as addictive as cocaine or morphine.
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” said Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of Neuroscience at Connecticut College.
Neuroscientists at the College were interested in taking a look at how high-fat, high-sugar foods contributed to the obesity epidemic in low-income areas. And when you’re looking for high-fat, high-sugar foods, what could be better than an Oreo? A single serving of Oreos, generally considered to be around three cookies, delivers 14 grams of sugar and seven grams of fat, and a mighty blast of dopamine.
To test the addictive powers of Oreos, the rats were run through a maze. On one end of the maze, the rats were offered Oreos, on the other, another test group was given cocaine or morphine. It seems that the rats spent as much or more time on the Oreo side of the maze as on the cocaine/morphine side. Rodent or human, we take our dopamine fixes anywhere we can get them, and, because, like drug addicts, we’re addicted, continue coming back for more.
“And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first.”