- A recent by Joseph Schroeder, a neuroscience assistant professor at Connecticut College, and his students found that Oreo cookies activated more neurons in rat brain pleasure centers than cocaine.
- Rats in a maze were made to choose between rice cakes or Oreos exhibited similar results as those in another maze made to choose between being injected with saline or cocaine or morphine.
- Schroeder's team concluded that the "findings suggest that high fat/sugar foods and drugs of abuse trigger brain addictive processes to the same degree and lend support to the hypothesis that maladaptive eating behaviors contributing to obesity can be compared to drug addiction.”
As behavioral evidence, this study definitely provides some concrete evidence about choices that rats will make. Is it enough to say that cookie addiction is similar to drug addiction? Well, that's probably a leap in logic that can be debated. If the study was performed with rats that had exhibited the desire to responsibly manage their diets, we might have something more compelling. We would hesitate to put a warning label on Oreo packages at this point, though Schroeder indicated that he hasn't touched one of the cream-filled sandwich cookies since conducting the study.