Cookies are more addictive than crack

Oreos are more addictive than hard drugs

Oreos are more addictive than hard drugs

When a sugar craving hits, it is hard to control our appetites and even harder not to overindulge. It is nearly impossible to open a package of cookies and eat just one.

New research from Connecticut College presents further evidence that confirms the ideas that foods high in fat and sugar are highly addictive.

Certain foods trigger the brain to want more, in the same way drugs such as cocaine prompt cravings.

Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program, along with his students tested the addictiveness of Oreos in lab rats.

The study consisted of two sides of a maze where one group of hungry rats were fed Oreos on one side, and the other group were fed rice cakes on the opposite side. The rats then were able to wander to see which side they preferred to stay on. Schroeder and students then compared this experiment to rats in another maze that were injected with cocaine on one side and a saline solution on the other.

Not only did the study find that rats eat the inside of the Oreo first, as many human do, but it also  found that the rats who were fed Oreos stayed on the cookie (“drug”) side as much as the rats who were given addictive drugs in the alternative experiment. They also found that the Oreos activated more neurons  in the rat’s brain than the cocaine did. The rats on the sugar high were more addicted to the Oreos than the rats that were exposed to the hard drug.

Although the use of addictive drugs is a health concern, these findings are equally alarming because junk food is much more accessible and affordable.


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