Oreos OR Cocaine


Study: Oreos are more addictive than cocaine

Jake Harris



-I am going into this article with an open mind. I have no idea what or where this story will go, but I would like to tell you some things I would like to read about.

  1. 1.     My interest would include where did the cocaine come from? Government lab made?
  2. 2.     What was the cookie and cocaine tested on for data?
  3. 3.     Weight issues with Oreos
  4. 4.     Weight loss with cocaine (not really)
  5. 5.     What town did they do this study? Is this because I might judge the area. If they were doing the test in Europe where cocaine is rampant, would I now be biased?

 A recent study released Wednesday by Connecticut College makes the bold claim that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine — at least, in lab rats.

-My immediate search was for the location of where the testing took place. I have no connection with   Connecticut. Does this somehow change the results in my mind? It is cold in Connecticut. Do people tend to eat more cookies or sugary snacks where the region is cooler? (I can find no evidence online that this is true)

Connecticut College psychology professor Joseph Schroeder told CBS News that rats who ate the high-fat cookies and rats who were exposed to cocaine or morphine had the same pleasure center of their brain stimulated.

-Before going on, I absolutely believe the next thing the author will provide is where the “same pleasure center of their brain” is.

“When we looked in the pleasure center of the brain, we found that the Oreo cookies activated the pleasure center more so than cocaine would activate the same center ,” Schroeder said.

-And they didn’t, so I looked it up.


“….Researchers have found that the main centres of the brain’s reward circuit are located along the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens are the two major centres in this circuit, but it also includes several others, such as the septum, the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex, and certain parts of the thalamus. Each of these structures appears to participate in its own way in various aspects of behavioural response.

Moreover, all of these centres are interconnected and innervate the hypothalamus (red arrows), informing it of the presence of rewards. The lateral and ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus are especially involved in this reward circuit…..”

-I know that it would be ridiculous to include this type of information and although I may not know some of the medical words, but I at least it gives me more detail than just “pleasure center”. At this point in the Oreo/cocaine article, I would probably assume the rest of the article is going to be pretty vague, so I would not finish the article. On the other hand, this publication The Daily Caller also has a section called KITTENS, so maybe I wouldn’t be getting my medical information from this web site/ article in the first place.

y’s findings are being used to explain how humans just can’t avoid eating high-fat treats, lending credibility to the oft-used saying that “[Insert food here] is so good, it’s like crack.”

A majority of the people polled on CBS News’s website agree that Oreos are addictive.

-These next two sentences are ridiculous and now I would defiantly consider never reading this publication again. This publication holds no credibility now for their vague statements and downright stupid sentences.

Telling me that “A majority of the people polled on CBS News’s website agree that Oreos are addictive.” Means nothing to me. I don’t know who the people they polled are. They could all be 16 year old boys who eat nonstop. It could be 40-55 depressed women who are overweight and eat high sugary snacks all day. Secondly, who are they to say they are addictive. They are random people who have no training in what is considered addictive. Just because they eat 30 Oreos at one sitting does not mean they are additive. It could mean the person has no self control.

Also, the paragraph before said that it was Oreos that were addicting like cocaine, but the next paragraph said that it is “high-fat treats.” This article is now including every high fat treat which could also include avocados. Are they addicting like cocaine? (I googled it and found no website where there has been discussion concerning avocados and cocaine.)

They should have said “high sugar…and provide the correct words for what an Oreo is called.

(Check out this article I found when I was researching what an oreo is called “high-fat/ high-sugar foods”)

The article is in its entirety at the end of this blog. This article is written better than the previous and includes some of the things I was hoping the first article would deliver.

  (These are silly poll facts to seem like they are legitimate and intelligent. I wonder what there media kit says about who their target audience is.

 I searched for their media kit and found this first:

The Daily Caller is a 24/7 news site committed to providing original reporting, thought-provoking commentary, and breaking news.

-That’s pretty funny.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/footer/advertise-with-us/#ixzz2kSVbjPJY

with this claim. Science blog ZME Science  (check this site out: http://www.zmescience.com/. I have bookmarked it for later. I am actually quite curious to see what it has to offer and I only glanced at it, so that makes me wonder what qualities did it posses to draw my interest.) states that Oreos cannot be classified as being more addictive than cocaine because there haven’t been enough studies done on people with Oreo withdrawals, highlighting the difference between physiological addiction and psychological addiction.

“In the study, they put rats in a maze and showed that they spent the same amount of time on the side where they were awarded with sugary food compared to the side with not-pleasure (that is bland food) compared to the side of the maze where they were awarded with pleasure (via drugs) vs not-pleasure (that is, not drugs). Interesting, but you can’t really go on saying this shows Oreos are like drugs ,” the ZME Science article states.

Yahoo! Health’s Prevention blog also claims that other food groups are more addictive than cookies, including chocolate, french fries, candy and ice cream.


-I cannot believe the very last paragraph they have in this article completely destroys the entire article by saying it has no credibility because of this other website. It makes me wonder if the writer of the crappy article works for ZME Science article. That would have been a very sneaky way to advertise. If I were stupid, I would believe what this article says at the end and I would say “yep, I agree with them ZME people. I’m smart like them because there wasn’t enough test.”. Then would it lead me to their website? If this article I am reading now wants me to stay on their site and continue reading what they have to offer, then providing a link to another publication is about as dumb as you can get. Just as dumb as the original article that stated this entire blog.

And interestingly enough, I could care less about the story topic now. I am more fascinated that the author actually published this and that consumer’s take it seriously.

 Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/16/oreos-more-addictive-than-cocaine/#ixzz2kSG8ZNf2


This article is the other one I found while looking for more information. This is the article I prefer because it has actually facts and uses medically correct words with real studies to back it up. It includes quotes and a background story.

Connecticut College News


Student-faculty research shows Oreos are just as addictive as drugs in lab rats



Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program, and Lauren Cameron ’14 found that eating Oreos activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse.

Connecticut College students and a professor of psychology have found “America’s favorite cookie” is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first.

In a study designed to shed light on the potential addictiveness of high-fat/ high-sugar foods, Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program, and his students found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse.  

The results are preliminary and subject to further scientific review.

“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.”

The research was the brainchild of neuroscience major Jamie Honohan ’13. A scholar in the College’s Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, Honohan was interested in how the prevalence of high-fat and high-sugar foods in low-income neighborhoods contributed to the obesity epidemic.

“My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food ,” said Honohan. “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.”

To test the addictiveness of Oreos, Honohan and a co-researcher, Becca Markson ’13, worked with Schroeder and two other students, Science Leader Gabriela Lopez ’15 and Katrina Bantis ’15, last year to measure the association between “drug” and environment.

On one side of a maze, they would give hungry rats Oreos and on the other, they would give them a control – in this case, rice cakes. (“Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating them,” Schroeder said.) Then, they would give the rats the option of spending time on either side of the maze and measure how long they would spend on the side where they were typically fed Oreos.

While it may not be scientifically relevant, Honohan said it was surprising to watch the rats eat the famous cookie. “They would
break it open and eat the middle first,” she said.

They compared the results of the Oreo and rice cake test with results from rats that were given an injection of cocaine or morphine, known addictive substances, on one side of the maze and a shot of saline on the other. Professor Schroeder is licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to purchase and use controlled substances for research.

The research showed the rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the “drug” side of the maze as the rats conditioned with cocaine or morphine.

Neuroscience major and Science Leader Lauren Cameron ’14 was awarded a Keck Grant, which provides summer research stipends in the sciences to qualified students, to work with Schroeder to continue the research over the summer. They used immunohistochemistry to measure the expression of a protein called c-Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, in the nucleus accumbens, or the brain’s “pleasure center.”

“It basically tells us how many cells were turned on in a specific region of the brain in response to the drugs or Oreos,” said Schroeder.

They found that the Oreos activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine.

“This correlated well with our behavioral results and lends support to the hypothesis that high-fat/ high sugar foods can be thought of as addictive,” said Schroeder.

And that could be a problem for the general public, says Honohan.

“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,” she said.

Schroeder will present the research next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, Calif.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Amy Martin, 860-439-2526, a.martin@conncoll.edu or Deborah MacDonnell (860) 439-2504, dmacdonn@conncoll.edu



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s