“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” neuroscience assistant professor Joseph Schroeder says. “That may be one reason people have trouble staying away from them and it may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.”
Schroeder’s neuroscience students put hungry rats into a maze. On one side went rice cakes. “Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating them,” Schroeder said. On the other side went Oreos.
Then the rats got the option of hanging out where they liked.
They compared the results to a different test. In that on, rats on one side if the maze got an injection of saline while those on the other side got injections of cocaine or morphine.
Rats seems to like the cookies about as much as they liked the addictive drugs. When allowed to wander freely, they’d congregate on the Oreo side for about as much time as they would on the drug side.
To be honest, this may be a little bit of junk (food) science.
After all, given a choice between an Oreo or a rice cake, who in their right mind is going to choose a rice cake?
The comparing of drugs to Oreos in terms of time spent on the side of a maze seems a little off as well. What would the rats choose if the options were cheese or rice cakes? Would we make a conclusion that cheese was addictive as cocaine?
It still is a fun read though and we have to say we chuckled at this comment by one of the researcher on the Oreo study.
“I haven’t touched an Oreo since doing this experiment,” neuroscience assistant professor Joseph Schroeder said in a school press release.
(Maybe he switched to Skittles and Mountain Dew.)
The sad thing is that the study doesn’t indicate the success rate for an Oreo 12 step addiction plan.
As fans of the apparently misnamed and spelling challenged Double Stuf Oreos, we might want to sign up.