Connecticut College psychology professor Joseph Schroeder and four students studied in rats whether high fat, high sugar foods can be as addictive as drugs of abuse.
The research looked at the rats’ behaviors and the effects the cookies had on their brains.
“We found that the behavior they exhibited was equally strong for Oreo cookies as it was for cocaine or morphine,” Schroeder, the director of the Behavioral Neuroscience program at Connecticut College, told WCBS 880. “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.”
The students are up front about their agenda. They think that poor people are too obese and it is probably because they have too much access to fast food.
“Overall, it lent support to the hypothesis that high fat, high sugar foods can be viewed in the same way as drugs of abuse and have addictive potential,” Schroeder told WCBS 880. “It could be used to explain why some people have a problem staying away from foods that they know they shouldn’t eat or that they know are addictive.”
Sorry, but I think it lends support to a different idea—that the War on Drugs has been based on a theory of addiction that is questionable. As a result, we have suffered under increasingly militarized police and increasing disrespect and disregard for Constitutional Fourth Amendment protections. (The “War on Terror” has added to this trend). I don’t support anyone getting intoxicated on any substance, but if rats get “as addicted” to Oreos as cocaine, then something is wrong with the conventional wisdom.
This “scientist” has told us he thinks it is easier to stop using Cocaine than to quit snacking on Oreos. I think my conclusion makes far more sense than his does.
(By the way, there are bunch of ideas in the interpretation of this experiment that I find highly doubtful. I don’t see why Oreos are being compared to a burger and fries. And I don’t understand why “high-sugar” and “high-fat” are being linked together as one problem. Many people think sugar is the culprit and fat is not.)
People who love Oreos take a break from them or even permanently stop eating them all the time. I used to sit down with them (or a less expensive clone) and a glass of milk quite often. But then I stopped because I decided that kind of sugar intake was not good for me. Anyone who claims they are more addictive than cocaine is challenging the conventional wisdom about drugs, not proving that Oreos are dangerous.