STUDY: Are Oreos as addicting as cocaine? - KMSP-TV

STUDY: Are Oreos as addicting as cocaine?

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Neuroscience researchers from Connecticut College say Oreos may be as addicting as cocaine, but FOX 9 medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou says while this study is making headlines, proceed with caution, as the study has yet to be published. It does, however, have interesting ramifications in connection with obesity research.

STUDY: Are Oreos as addicting as cocaine?

Neuroscience researchers from Connecticut College say Oreos may be as addicting as cocaine in a study devised to examine the impact or high-fat and high-sugar foods in low-income neighborhoods.

In the study, rats were placed in a maze that either brought them to Oreos or to rice cakes. The rats gravitated toward the Oreos in the same way they did in a maze that featured cocaine or morphine and saline. The rats spent as much time at the end of the maze with the Oreos as they did with cocaine -- even eating the filling first as many of their human counterparts.

The study also suggests Oreos "activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine," which could mean maladaptive behavior associated with obesity could be compared to that associated with drug use.

"Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do," Connecticut College professor and research leader Joseph Schroeder said in a news release. "It may explain why some people can't resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them."

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