A study out of Connecticut College recently found that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine or morphine.
The study was done by the school’s director of behavioural neuroscience Joseph Schroeder to understand why people have trouble resisting foods with high sugar and fat content.
Schroeder and a team of researchers set up a maze to see if lab rats preferred rice cakes or Oreos. After Schroeder found that the rats preferred the Oreos, he compared the brains of the rats to others that were injected with either cocaine or morphine — substances known to be highly addictive.
Schroeder found that the Oreos stimulated the nucleus accumbens — the pleasure centre of the brain — more powerfully than cocaine or morphine, making Oreos difficult to pass by.
Schroeder believes the research supports his theory that food containing high sugar and fat content stimulates the brain in a manner similar to psychoactive drugs.
The health risks that come with the use of addictive drugs such as cocaine or morphine are typically not associated with food.
On a less scientific note, the rats in the study would break open the Oreos and gnaw at its creamy centre — just like humans are known to do.
The results of this study will be presented next month to the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, California.