Ever blamed your love-handles on a lifelong case of Oreo-addiction you just can’t win? Well, chances are you might not have been far off the truth – one of America’s most treasured exports could indeed be habit-forming.
According to new research carried out at the Connecticut College, Oreo cookies are to some extent every bit as addictive as certain controlled drugs. Admittedly the subjects observed by the researchers were in this instance lab rats, but millions of everyday Americans including this particular writer will no doubt consider their own cases further evidence.
Confirming what so many of us have suspected all along, rats seemed to develop addictions and compulsive behavior toward Oreo cookies as they did drugs including morphine and cocaine. Even more interestingly still, the study showed that the pleasure centers of the brain that respond to the intake of substances and foods fired up even more when Oreos were eating than when the animals were given doses of drugs.
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” said Joseph Schroeder, a Professor of Neuroscience in a press release following the study.
“It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
The team was however adamant to point out the dangers associated with such habits and addictions, suggesting to some extent that unhealthy snacks can be more dangerous than controlled substances.
“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat/ high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability,” said researcher Jamie Honohun.
Still, the apparent addiction to Oreos wasn’t the only trait the lab rats seemed to share with human beings. Mirroring the ritual performed by millions of Americans of all ages every single day, Honohun added that the rats would in general “break it open and eat the middle first.”