An Oreo Addiction

From Connecticut College News:

I can’t remember the last time I had one, but I remember what they tasted like … in fact, it’s stronger than even that!

Connecticut College students and a professor of psychology have found “America’s favorite cookie” is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first.

In a study designed to shed light on the potential addictiveness of high-fat/ high-sugar foods, Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program, and his students found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse.  

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” Schroeder said. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • smurf

    no duh? but did they determine whether the correct way to eat them was to open them and lick out the middle first?

  • Phil Miller

    “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”

    Or it could be that Oreos are just delicious…

  • RJS4DQ

    Actually the correct way is to stick a fork in the middle and dip the whole thing into a glass of milk. Of course lab rats can’t handle this so the validity of the whole test is questionable.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    To my mind this also speaks for the end of the war on drugs.

    For it is inconsistent to tolerate legal drugs while sending people smoking weed into jail.

  • truthisfree4u

    The conclusions people draw from this study don’t pass the basic sniff test to me. I’ve known people who have quit Oreos and people who tried to quit cocaine. No contest which was harder, and it wasn’t Oreos.

    No doubt food can be a powerful addiction, and Oreos a powerful food in that way, but when was the last time you had to be sent to detox and found yourself curled up in the fetal position bawling just because you passed on Oreos at the store?

  • truthisfree4u

    Hmm. I’m not sure I’ve ever read of an Oreo related tragedy like this one…

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/driver-deadly-taconic-crash-diane-schuler-drunk-marijuana-system-article-1.394195

  • Eric Weiss

    Sounds good to me. Time to shut down the methodone clinics and start handing out packs of Oreos instead. This will solve two problems: It gets addicts off addictive drugs and it feeds the homeless drug addicts.


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