The purpose of the study was to look at the possible addictiveness of high-fat and high-sugar foods. Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain's pleasure center than drug exposure.
During the study a group of rats on one side of a maze was given Oreos while another group on the other side was given rice cakes. Sounds like a pretty simple decision. Have you ever eaten a rice cake?
“Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating them,” Schroeder said of the rice cakes.
Then, rats on one side of the maze were given cocaine or morphine shots while rats on the other side were given saline. The rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the "drug" side of the maze as those conditioned with cocaine or morphine.
“This correlated well with our behavioral results and lends support to the hypothesis that high-fat, high-sugar foods are addictive,” Schroeder said.
Jamie Honohan, a neuroscience major, came up with the experiment and says,“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat, high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability."
So are you going to give up your Oreos?