Oreos addictive as cocaine?
Who knew cookies could be as biologically addictive as drugs? Well, a recent study by Connecticut researchers may have uncovered why some folks can’t break their love affair with Oreos.
According to the study, the popular cookies feed into the way our bodies are wired toward a fondness for fatty and sugary foods.
It’s no secret that America has an issue with weight. The latest statistics show that nearly 70 percent of Americans age 20 years and older are considered overweight.
In the Oreo study, researchers at Connecticut College in New London looked at previous tests done on rats that compared the behavior of mice given shots of morphine or cocaine to those that were given shots of saline. What they found was that the rats that ate Oreos mimicked the behavior of those who were given drugs.
Another telling finding is that after researchers looked closely at the pleasure center of the rats’ brains after they ate the cookies, they found that the Oreos activated more neurons than cocaine or morphine. The study also found that rats, just like many humans, like to eat the creamy filling of the Oreos first.
In a statement to Connecticut College News, one of the authors of the study said, “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do, which may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
But a spokesperson for the makers of Oreo, Nabisco, told ABC News that people should be cautious about “associating Oreo with the findings since the cookies were used as “a proxy for a non-specific ‘sweet’ variable.”
Still the researchers say their study helps raise awareness about food addiction. They believe the only way to beat it is to adopt other behaviors and ways to activate your brain’s pleasure center. Two ways experts suggest is through portion control and education, so you learn more about good versus bad foods. This way you can eliminate the junk and find pleasure in more healthier, less addictive options.
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