Are Oreos as addictive as cocaine and heroin? According to a recent study, your insatiable love of fatty and sugary treats could be a serious problem.
However, some scientists believe the research isn’t exactly solid. According to Live Science, the recent study doesn’t contain enough concrete information to determine if the cookies are really as addictive as narcotics.
University of California, Los Angeles research Edythe London believes more data is currently required to make that determination.
“The study performed cannot determine whether Oreos are as addictive as cocaine. That question is best addressed in a comparison of how hard a rat will work for Oreos versus cocaine — how many times a rat will press a lever to get one or the other,” London said.
ABC News reports that Nabisco owner Mondelez International cautioned fans of the foodstuff against putting too much stock into the recent study. Although researchers claim Oreos are as addictive as cocaine, the company said the treats were reportedly used as “a proxy for a non-specific ‘sweet’ variable.”
“While it may seem simple to bucket foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ the reality is that foods are complex, and encouraging people to enjoy a balanced diet paired with physical activity is most important,” a spokesperson for the company explained in a recent statement.
How did students at Connecticut College reach this conclusion? It all started with rats in a maze. One side of the maze rewarded the rodents with cookies, while the other offered up a rice cake. Researchers soon discovered that the rats wanted the Oreos more.
When students introduced cocaine and saline as possible rewards, the animals gravitated towards the saline. According to the folks behind the study, this proves that Oreos are far more addictive than cocaine or other habit-forming drugs.
Jamie Honohan, the experiment’s mastermind, explained:
“My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food. We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses.”
Honohan added that rats and human seem to enjoy eating the cookies the same way. According to the folks at Time magazine, many of the rodents decided to break open the cookie and consume the creamy center first.
Do you think Oreos are as addictive as cocaine or heroin?
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]