Cookie vs. Cocaine: The Addictive Oreo
One day a particular food or drink is good for you and the next day scientists are saying that it is bad. Coffee, wine, and avocados are a just few examples of foods or drinks that are fantastic for your health one day and then terrible the next. This constant back and forth can get tiring but in the end, it’s a part of life. But when milk’s favorite cookie gets thrown into the mix, things can get a little dicey.
We all know that Oreos are not the healthiest of options but sometimes that chocolaty exterior and creamy interior just make our day a little bit easier. But a recent Connecticut College study found that not only are Oreos unhealthy, they are really addictive – at least in the rodent population. In fact, the study suggests that Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine. Could you imagine how many cocaine addicts we could help if we just replaced their drugs with a delicious box of Oreos? If only it were that simple.
Before you stop eating Oreos altogether, it’s important to recognize that there are some serious pitfalls in the results of the study. I mean, Oreos can’t really be as addictive as cocaine…right? In the study, rats were put in a maze with an Oreo on one side and a rice cake on the other. The rats obviously spent the most time on the side with the Oreo. In a second study, rats were put in a maze where on one side of the maze, there was an injection of cocaine ready for the rats while on the other there was an injection of saline. Again, the rats spent most of their time on the side where they could get their cocaine fix. It was found that rats spent the same amount of time near the Oreos as they did near the cocaine. So basically rats found Oreos and cocaine equally “rewarding” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are equally addicting. The study never tested a rat’s response to choosing between cocaine and a cookie. My bet is that they would choose the cocaine.
It has become scientific knowledge that food–especially high fat or high sugar foods–are addictive. Gum, salty chips, and even carbs can be addictive. And sure Oreos could very well be added to this ever growing list. But are Oreos really as addictive as cocaine? I for one am still skeptical.
– Anushi Shah
Cover Photo Source.