I have never been addicted to cocaine, but we’ve all seen the movies or maybe even have known friends that have been. We conjure up an image of what cocaine addiction does to one.
I have eaten Oreo cookies. They were always in our cabinet growing up. My dad loved them. Who knew…
I’m trying to imagine Eric Clapton singing:
If you wanna hang out youve got to take her out; oreos.
If you wanna get down, down on the ground; oreos.
She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie; oreos.
It’s not really just oreos that are addictive, but it is sugary, fatty foods that cause a similar response in our bodies like cocaine. Having never tried to kick cocaine, I am not sure if the withdrawal symptoms are similar. I have never seen an Oreo recovery center or 12-step program for sugar.
All kidding aside, the American diet is full of sugary, fatty foods. Research at Connecticut College, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, found rats on sugar exhibited similar behavior as rats on cocaine or morphine:
A research team at Connecticut College in New London conducted an experiment on rats using a maze with rice cakes on one side and Oreos on the other. The rats were observed on both sides of the maze.
“Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating rice cakes,” Joseph Schroeder, who led the research team, told UPI.com.
The experiment results were compared with previous tests done on rats that were given shots of morphine or cocaine on one side of a maze and shots of saline on the other. The Oreo study showed that the rats eating the Oreos spent as much time on that side of the maze as those given the drugs.
The researchers also studied the pleasure center of the rats’ brains and found that the Oreos activated more neurons than cocaine or morphine.
“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.”
My daughter thinks rice cakes taste like cardboard too. I better keep her away from the cookies.
And strangely enough, rats like to eat the creamy filling first, like most Oreo eating humans.
Researchers note the first step to breaking your Oreo addiction is admitting you have a problem.
Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
An Oreo addiction may not make your life unmanageable, but it may do so to your weight and health.
Oh, and my dad has found [amazon_link id=”B000LKZ5XQ” target=”_blank” ]gluten-free Oreo[/amazon_link] type cookies, but I think he has addiction under control. There were a few years of abstinence when he was first diagnosed as a Celiac.
Image: License Some rights reserved by mihoda
This has a very catchy title so I had to check it out, while both have different negative effects, cocaine being worse. The sugar and high fat of the cookie and or longer term use cannot be discounted. It’s a bit odd talking about long term use while referencing a cookie, LOL Either way too many cookies all the time will also have its downside.
Sandra Goldstein says
Hi Jennifer, Thanks for posting this! I was actually shocked by the findings. Sure we all know that sugary, fatty foods cause a similar response in our bodies to drugs. Some actually call sugar a pure form of drug due to symptoms one undergoes after cutting it out of the diet. But who would think that Oreos could be so harmful. The other day I was on the plane and found myself craving a snack. Believe it or not instead of going for anything else I have ordered a cup of tea and a pack of Oreos. The alarming thing is that I was convinced that I am choosing a healthier option! I am wondering if this research can be applied to all cookies that are out there or just Oreos. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks