- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Researchers at Connecticut College threw some lab rats into a maze, stacked one side with rice cakes and the other with Oreos, recorded their reactions to each — and, a few scientific tests later, concluded “America’s Favorite Cookie” is as addictive as morphine and cocaine.

The tests were aimed at discovering whether fatty and sugary foods can be as addictive as drugs. And according to the research: Yes.

“We found that the behavior they exhibited was equally as strong for Oreo cookies as it was for cocaine or morphine,” Joseph Schroeder, a professor and director of the Behavioral Neuroscience program at the college, told WCBS 880.

Specially, researchers found that the cookies activated the same pleasure sensors in the brain as cocaine and morphine, with one key difference: The pleasure with Oreos was actually more intense, tapping into a greater number of pleasure neurons than morphine and cocaine.

“Overall, it lent support to the hypothesis that high fat, high sugar foods can be viewed in the same way as drugs of abuse and have addictive potential,” Mr. Schroeder said. “It would be used to explain why some people have a problem staying away from foods that they know they shouldn’t eat or that they know are addictive.”

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