Friday, October 18, 2013

Study Finds That Oreos Are as Addictive as Cocaine

A new study from Connecticut College has provided proof that Oreos and similar snacks can be as addictive as cocaine. The study found that when rats were placed in a maze with Oreos on one side and rice cakes on the other, the rats would continuously choose the side with the Oreos. In addition, the study found that the rats enjoyed the inner icing portion more than the outer cookie portion, and often ate that part first.

Another piece of information that the researchers were interested in studying was the effect Oreos and other high-sugar, high-fat snacks were having on low-income areas. The researchers found that Oreos were marketed and purchased more frequently in areas with lower socioeconomic status. Because Oreos have high sugar and fat contents, this leads to low-income areas having a higher obesity rate among both children and adults, and is often linked to the negative health risks in eating in the fashion such as the onset of juvenile diabetes. And if Oreos truly are addictive, this could be a never-ending cycle for families that regularly purchase them.

The researchers believe that Oreos and other high-sugar, high-fat snacks could potentially be more dangerous than morphine or cocaine because they are more readily available and cost much less. They found that the same areas in the brain's "pleasure center" were activated when the rats ate Oreos and when they were injected with addictive drugs.

This can lead to a serious problem among the general public. Anybody who has eaten an Oreo will know that it is especially hard to eat only one. Some people may believe that this is just because the cookies taste good, but what if there is something else at play? What if fatty and sugary foods are even more addictive than we previously thought? If that is true, it truly does provide Nabisco (the company that makes Oreos) with a solid business model: advertise Oreos heavily on children's TV networks in areas with lower socioeconomic status, then sell Oreos to the consumer at a low enough price to make them seem like a convenient, economical snack, and watch as the same consumers come back again and again to buy more cookies.

Consumers should be cautious and try to avoid eating fatty, sugary, and generally unhealthy foods. Instead of eating "convenient" junk food, consumers should consider trying a vegetarian diet, which can be just as convenient, but a lot healthier, than Oreos.

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