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Oreos Addicting As Cocaine? Study Shows Rats Spend As Much Time With America's Favorite Cookie Than With The Drug

By Staff Writer | October 17, 2013 03:09 AM EDT

Oreos as addicting as cocaine? A new study done by undergraduate researchers at Connecticut College showed that there's a connection between the druge and the cookie filled with cream filling.

Oreos are the bestselling cookie in the U.S. since its inception in 1912. Cocaine has been a drug that has been abused in the U.S. since the end of the 19th century. Now, a connection has been made considering the snack as addicting as the ecgonine derivative.

The study was done by a team of four undergrads whom were led by Conn College neuroscience professor Joseph Schroeder. Before it was discovered that the Oreos were as addicting as cocaine, they placed rats in a maze with Oreo cookies on one side and rice cakes on the other. They measured the amount of time the rats spent on each side, according to CS Monitor.

"Just like humans, rats don't seem to get much pleasure out of eating [rice cakes]," Dr. Schroeder, in a press release.

Schroeder conducted a similar experiment, except that instead of tempting the rats with Oreos and rice cakes, he did so with injections of cocaine or morphine on one side, and saline injections on the other, according to CS Monitor. The rats spent as much time on the Oreo side of the maze as they did on the side of the drugs for each experiment.

"My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food," Jamie Honohan, the neuroscience major who designed the experiment told CS Monitor. "We chose Oreos not only because they are America's favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses."

This could be a wake-up call for those who chow down on these kinds of snacks daily. There really could be a true connection to a real addiction.

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

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