NEW LONDON, Conn. (WVIT) - The professor who supervised the study at Connecticut College in New London says Oreos may not be just as addictive as drugs, they may be more addictive.
"That may be one reason people have trouble staying away from them and it may be contributing to the obesity epidemic," said Joseph Schroeder.
Most people like Oreos, he and his students figured. Rats like chocolate too, so the researchers crumbled up the cookies for rats, rats they put into chambers. Just as the rats preferred the chamber where they were given cocaine and morphine, they preferred the chamber where they were given Oreos. Yes, they ate the cream first.
The rats' brains showed the Oreos had stimulated more neurons in their pleasure centers.
"We looked at the pleasure center of the brain which is stimulated any time you engage in a pleasurable activity, including eating. Drugs of abuse hijack that system and lead to addiction," said Schroeder.
"I haven't touched an Oreo since doing this experiment," said senior student Lauren Cameron.
Lauren spent the summer feeding the lab rats then analyzing their brains.
"It really just speaks to the effects that high fat and high sugar foods and foods in general, can have on your body. The way they react in your brain, that was really surprising for me," said Cameron.
Now, she's scoping out physician assistant's school, but first she says she has a little problem with potato chips. Don't we all.