The chocolate that has long been everyone’s favorite is as addictive to the brain as cocaine, as revealed in a research led by Neuroscientist Joseph Schroeder from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Schroeder led the research on the indulgent treat of the cookies to rats’ brains.
To find out the relation between the Oreos and the drugs, rats were put in a maze. On one side were Oreo cookies and on the other side were plain rice cakes. As expected, the mice went to the Oreo side of the maze.
“Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating rice cakes,” Schroeder noted.
Another test was conducted where mice were made to choose in a maze, with shots of morphine or cocaine on one side and shots of saline on the other. As suspected they chose the sides with the drugs. It was found out that the rats spent as much time on the Oreo side as on the drug side in the respective mazes.
The study found out that eating the cookies activates more neurons in the rats “pleasure center” are of the brain or the nucleus accumbens than drugs such as cocaine. It suggests that the combination of sugar and fat may be even more delectable to the brain than drugs.
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” Schroeder told the Connecticut College News. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
In addition, the study also discovered that just like humans, rats also like to eat the Oreo’s creamy center first. If the human truly has an addiction to Oreo’s and ate 2-3 boxes a week it would run them an annual bill of approximately $1,000. On the other hand cocaine addicts pay $50,000 or more per year just to get their fix.
“These findings suggest that high fat/sugar foods and drugs of abuse trigger brain addictive processes to the same degree and lend support to the hypothesis that mal-adaptive eating behaviors contributing to obesity can be compared to drug addiction,” the team wrote in a statement describing the study.
Should the prices of Oreo’s be increased in order to level the playing field? Or should they be completely taken off the market?
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