There has been a lot of talk lately that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine, according to some studies. Yahoo News reported on Oct. 16, 2013, that people shouldn't freak out just yet because the research behind these revelations may not be entirely certain.
Recently, a press release from a Connecticut College said that an undergraduate student research project brought about headlines stating that Oreos could be as addictive as cocaine. This was due to rats being put into a maze and being rewarded with Oreos or rice cakes.
The rats seemed to prefer the Oreos.
After that, the rats were put into the same experiment for shots of morphine or cocaine on one side and the other having shots of saline. The rats appeared to choose the cocaine and therefore, it was determined that Oreos were like cocaine to the rats.
Well, some experts say otherwise.
"The study performed cannot determine whether Oreos are as addictive as cocaine," said Edythe London, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who uses brain imaging to study the neural basis of drug cravings. "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."
Other tests were conducted to determine how brain cell activity in the rats activated the pleasure and positive reinforcement sensors. Obviously, the cocaine and Oreos stimulated that part of the rats' brains.
The study is "consistent with the fact that Oreos produce pleasure — but we knew that," London said.
With that being said, this test with Oreos and cocaine and rats doesn't yet prove whether certain foods can truly be addictive. While pleasure sensors in the brain can be stimulated by drugs or even sugary foods; that doesn't mean that it will create an actual food addiction.
Researchers, such as Edythe London, says that, "more is needed to say that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine or addictive at all."