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Oreos as addictive as cocaine to lab rats, study finds

Updated: 2013-10-16T17:03:01Z

By LISA GUTIERREZ

The Kansas City Star

So Oreos are as addictive as cocaine to lab rats?

We could have saved scientists a whole bunch of money and time and just showed them the results of our own life-long cookie research.

Connecticut College professor Joseph Schroeder and his students found that, in their lab rats, Oreos activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to cocaine or morphine.

According to the college, the researchers are studying the addictiveness of foods with lots of fat and sugar. And here’s the really bad news for sugarholics like us.

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat, high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do," Schroeder concluded. "It may explain why some people can't resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them."

In one of their experiments they set up two adjoining chambers. One contained Oreos, the other rice cakes.

Yeah, you can see where this is going.

The rats preferred the broken-up Oreos.

"Just like humans, rats don't seem to get much pleasure out of eating (rice cakes),” explained Schroeder.

And, just like a lot of humans, they went after the creamy white center first.

The assistant professor of neuroscience will present their research next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, Calif.

“I haven't touched an Oreo since doing this experiment,” Schroeder told NBC.

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