Why Are Your Oreos As Addictive as Cocaine?


We all know Oreos are addictive. I mean c’mon, how many people do you know that can eat just one Oreo? They even come in long rows that look they are meant to be devoured in one sitting. The line of Oreos is tempting, perfect, waiting. Quite similar actually to a line of cocaine. Seriously.

A study has found that the brain responds to Oreos in almost the exact same way that it responds to drugs, at least if you’re a rat. The nucleus accumbens in the brain, apparently gets just as active when it eats an Oreo, as it would doing a little bit of coke or even some Morphine. And while this is slightly humorous it actually has some pretty serious implications for people.

No we know you aren’t rat. So you are probably wondering what this has to do with people anyways. Well, according to the author of the study it is relevant to humans and could be your perfect excuse as to why you can’t stop eating those delectable little cookies. The study will presented, if it hasn’t already and part of it talks about how rats ALSO like to eat the creamy center of an Oreo first. Thought that was a people thing? Think again.

So How’d They Do It?

Scientists trained rats to navigate a maze. On one side there were Oreo cookies. On the other side were rice cakes. (We all know where this is going right? I mean if you had the choice which one would you choose?) Anyways, as you guessed, the rats spent significantly more time on the Oreo side of the maze.

But then they upped the ante a little bit. The scientists then put cocaine and/or morphine on one side and rice cakes on the other. The rats spent more time on the drug side, the same amount of time as they did on the Oreos.

Now, none of this is surprising. What is surprising though is what was happening in the brain. Why? Well, because Oreos activated the brain just as much as line of cocaine would. Actually, Oreos activated the brain MORE. And that seems, well, intense. Especially for a little cookie.

So what the scientists found was that high sugar, high fat foods actually work in the brain just like drugs. That craving you have for pizza and Oreos, and well, junk. It may be an addiction. And much like today’s heroin epidemic it works the same way. The high sugar, high fat stuff—is all over the place and it is really cheap. Making it the go to for many people even when there are healthier options or alternatives they could be could eating. And what a marketer’s dream come true right? Not only do they have a food product that can be made cheaply it literally makes the person eating it, aka you, want it more. Cha-ching!

So next time you think about buying that box of Oreos know that you are falling into a marketing gimmick that has you wrapped around it’s little finger. It has hooked you with its contents and made sure you can afford it before you can afford those bags of apples you should be eating instead.

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