Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine?

This was a fascinating study recently done at Connecticut College.  Students found that “America’s favorite cookie” (Oreos) was found just as addictive as cocaine…in lab rats.  Also, while not part of the study, it’s interesting to note that the rats eat the creamy filling first too.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

Rats were divided into two groups.  The first group was put in a maze where one side was filled with rice cakes and the other side was filled with Oreo cookies and (no surprise) the rats preferred to hang out on the Oreo side.

The second group was put in a maze where on one side they received a saline solution injection and the other side they received an injection of cocaine or morphine.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

Now here’s the really interesting part.  They measured levels of a protein called c-Fos, a marker of neural activation in the brain’s “pleasure center” and found that the Oreos activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine.

While the study was small and not in humans, it supports the theory that high-fat, high-sugar foods can be just as addictive as illegal drugs.  Also, what makes this significant is the idea that while cocaine is illegal and fairly difficult to attain, junk food is easily accessible and affordable.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think junk food is as addictive as drugs?

Lisa ;)

Sheslosingit.net (c) 2013 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

10 responses to “Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine?

  1. A school teacher by education I also worked in the addiction field and somewhere between the full moon and sugar there is nothing else that makes children of all ages act a little strange. Alcohol (fermented sugar), shopping, food, exercise, sex, gambling, beating on a spouse, whatever turns ones pleasure center on there is always a chance of that one may become addicted, a physical compulsion and a mental obsession that one can never get enough of what they crave.
    Listen to friends and family when they comment on you excessive habits before you become addicted because unfortunately the addicted usually lose their hearing.
    Love, hugs and blessings …ME and the Boss

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