Oreos Found to be as Addictive as Cocaine to Lab Rats – Do You Have a Favorite Cookie?
I get home late at night, usually around 4 in the morning, and the first thing I do is rummage through the pantry to see if we have any cookies my mother-in-law may have left us when she was still living under our roof.
I’d call her cookie monster because of all the crap she’d bring into the house.
Things I’d never eat if they weren’t around.
But now I’m spoiled. I got to have a cookie, or two, or three, or a sleeve, before I go up to bed.
And yes, no matter which ones there are around, they’re all addictive.
But the most addictive of all is the Oreo; or so say scientists.
Oreo cookies are just as addictive as drugs, according to new research.
In a study of lab rats, Connecticut College scientists found the cookie activated even more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than drugs like cocaine and morphine.
The scientists devised a test in which rats encountered Oreos on one side of a maze and rice cakes on the other side, and took note of how long the animals spent on each. They compared the results to a similar maze test in which rats were given an injection of cocaine or morphine on one side and saline on the other.
Researchers then measured protein levels in the brain, which "basically tells us how many cells were turned on in a specific region of the brain in response to the drugs or Oreos," said neuroscience professor Joseph Schroeder. The Oreos activated "significantly more" neurons than the drugs.
The study supports evidence that high-fat and high-sugar foods are addictive, said researcher Jamie Honohan.
Honohan said in a statement…“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.”
While the best ways to eat an Oreo are hotly debated among humans - does one nibble the cookies first, lick out the center, or dunk it in milk and bite the whole thing? - the rats showed a clear preference.
"They would break open the middle and eat it first," Honohan said.
Like we really needed a study to tell us that.
However, being that as it may, give me a list below of the cookies you find most addictive? Mine would include Chips Ahoy, Nonni’s Biscotti, and the immortal Social Tea, which I eat by the sleeveful.