Put that Oreo cookie down! It's going to turn you into a junk-food junkie. At least according to researchers at Connecticut College, who found evidence that Oreo cookies are just as addictive as cocaine.
What the fuzz.
Neuroscience senior Jamie Honohan formed the study to research the impact of high-fat and high-sugar foods in low-income neighborhoods:
“My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food,” said Honohan. “We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses.”
For the study, Honohan and two other students devised a maze. On one end of the maze, hungry rats would find an Oreo. On the other, hungry rats would find rice cakes. The rats gravitated toward the Oreo, and like all Oreo-cultured eaters, they would “ break it open and eat the middle first.”
The results were compared to a similar study in which rats were either given a shot of cocaine or morphine on one side of the maze, or a shot of saline on the other. It turns out that the rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the "drug" side of the maze as those who were conditioned with actual drugs.
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