Oreos Really Are as Addictive as Cocaine, Says Science
You think you can have just one, or maybe a two, and before you know it the whole bag has disappeared. But don't worry. It's not your fault. Scientists at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut are now saying that those beacons of chocolate cookie-and-creme goodness really might be as addictive as crack. Yes, we're talking about the Oreo. And almost more importantly, these super-smart scientists also settled the debate on which part -- the cookie or the creme -- reigns supreme.
mihoda via Flickr It's really not your fault you ate the whole bag.
Way to go, science.
Neuroscientist Joseph Schroeder from Connecticut College led research about the cookie's addictive qualities. Using rats, Schroeder found that Oreos trigger the same neurons in the brain's pleasure center as cocaine. The study also found that rats given coke and rats given Oreo cookies showed similar levels of addiction.
To come to these conclusions, the researchers put rats into mazes with routes to either a rice cake or an Oreo. Other rats were put into a maze with saline solution and cocaine. Once the rats had explored the maze, they were able to choose which reward they wanted. Of course, the rats has a strong preference for Oreos (and coke), and in both situations spent similar amounts of time hanging around the zone where they received their rewards. The fact that the rats in both cases hung around waiting to score again indicates similar levels of addiction.
The scientists also noted that rats tended to prefer to eat the cream part of the cookie first. Indicating that, in fact, the inside of the Oreo is the best part. Even to rodents.