Are you addicted to Oreos?

This other day while I was watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix I could not help but to eat a snack. My snack of choice was mint Oreos. I told myself just two Oreos in an attempt to try and not be too overly unhealthy. After 30 minutes of watching the show, I realized I had eaten seven Oreos. I probably would have eaten more if I was not stopped by an empty row. I was immediately annoyed because all of the Oreos were gone and I would now have to add them to my shopping list and also because I told myself just two. I was generally interested as to why I had eaten so many Oreos when I was not even that hungry to begin with. I thought of a few possible things, did I eat so many because Gilmore Girls was distracting me or am I seriously addicted to Oreos? Yet again, I took to the internet to answer my question.

Picture from here.

I started off my investigation by searching “Are Oreos addicting” into Google. A multitude of articles popped up with some very startling headlines. One Time Magazine article in specific jumped out at me. The article was titled, Oreos May Be As Addictive As Cocaine. With a title making a claim as bizarre as that, I knew I had to read it. From the article I learned that a study on lab rats and Oreos had been conducted at Connecticut College. This specific study focused on the rat’s brain and how their neurons were activated with the exposure to Oreos.
The rats were released into a maze where Oreos were at one end and rice cakes were at the other end. Just like any normal person, or at least myself, I could easily assume where the rats would be headed. With no surprise at all, the rats gravitated towards the Oreo end of the maze. Another test was given to the rats, again they were placed in a maze. This time the maze had a saline( a salt solution) injection and a shot of morphine/cocaine at the opposite end. The rats scurried to the cocaine/morphine side of the maze. The data from both studies were analyzed and the researchers concluded that rats spent as much time near the Oreos as they did by the cocaine/morphine injection side. 

The reasoning behind the strong attraction rats felt towards the Oreos goes well beyond the deliciousness of the black and white cookie. Foods high in sugar and fat (Oreos) and abusive drugs activate the addictive side of the brain at the same level. When the rats ate the Oreos, their pleasure center in their brain lit up as much as or even more than it would have if they were injected with cocaine. Furthermore this evidence from the study can support the conjecture that maladaptive eating habits linked to obesity can be similar to that of a person with a drug addiction. So for the sake of my blog, Oreos are addicting.

After finding out that Oreos are addicting, would I eat them again? Heck yes. I will continue to eat Oreos and products that contain Oreos because they are absolutely heavenly. However, there might be a slightly less addictive and healthier option for you to eat. Newman- O’s are a different type of the classic black and white cookie (Oreos). Newman O’s are wheat free, dairy free made with organic flour and organic sugar. My Mom likes to buy this brand of black and white cookies for our house and they are almost identical in taste to Oreos. If you were turned off from Oreos because they are highly addictive, or just tying to be healthier, give Newman- O’s a shot!

Picture from here.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Are you addicted to Oreos?

  1. Griffin Lambert Brooks

    YES. I would go the limits to get my hands on Oreos any time of the day. After reading your blog and learning how they can be addictive that doesn’t change my mind a bit about them. When I eat oreos (everyday) I completely disregard the serving size and make my own. There are 3 rows in a container of oreos. So once I rip open the seal at the top of the container, I ask myself how hungry I am. If I’m not too hungry and just want a quick snack thats equivalent to one row of oreos. If I’m watching a movie or netflix or playing x box that would be equivalent to 2 rows of oreos. Now… if I’m hungry (which is most of the time) I have my eyes on all three rows and they’ll be gone in no time. Regardless of the amount of rows I eat of oreos I always slurp them down with at least a pint of milk. Oreos might very well be addicting but I’m not going to stop eating them. I hope someone who reads this also has the same love for Oreos as I do.

  2. Allison Maria Magee

    Oreo’s were never my favorite cookie, but whenever there is a whole box of them sitting around, I find that I cannot stop eating them. If I’m not even a huge fan of the cookie why would I keep eating them? It is so interesting to hear that they are, in fact, addicting. But simultaneously very concerning to hear Oreo addictions being compared to cocaine addictions. I looked further into this online and found another article quite similar to the one you attached in this article. I find it interesting that the idea of Oreo and Cocaine addictions being similar is become a popular case to research.
    http://www.hngn.com/articles/15033/20131016/oreos-obesity-epidemic-chocolate-cookies-addictive-cocaine.htm

  3. Derrek Koblinsky

    I am also a victim of the Oreo addiction. I always find myself downing Oreos whenever my girlfriend will bring them up or whenever I find the ambition to spend money on them. One thing you may not have known about the Oreo is that it is not the OG (original) cream filled sandwich cookie. The first cookie that was originally brought out was the Hydrox. The Hydrox is an identical concept and in a similar packaging. However, they apparently have a different taste than the Oreo and do not absorb as much milk as an Oreo. We will never know the real difference since Hydrox cookies were discontinued. Back to your point, I can definitely agree with the Oreo addiction. Sadly if you set the whole box in front of me I could easily eat one row or sleeve and not have a problem with it. I just find it unreal that Oreos have the same effect on the same side of the brain that hardcore drugs do!!

  4. Amanda Grace Thieu

    Eating Oreos is a weird sensation to me. There are four types of people in the world, people who only like the cookie, people who only eat the cream, the people who eat the cookie whole, and the people who just don’t like oreos. I fall in between only liking Golden Oreos, and having to lick the cream off first then eat the cookie shortly after. I wonder if there’s a reason why some people gravitate towards the cream or the cookie? This fun little article on the Huffington Post makes an evaluation on your personality by which type of oreos you choose to eat. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/galanty-miller/what-do-oreo-cookies-reve_b_9479516.html. I also tried the peppermint oreos which were really good during the holiday times.

  5. Anna Josephine Wisniewski

    First of all, LOVE the plug for Newman-O’s. They don’t even compare to the real thing, but my mom does the same and buys those, or another organic look alike. I myself would be considered a lover of Oreo’s. We NEVER have them in my house, but I babysit all the time and there are always Oreo’s hiding on the top shelf of the pantry. I get super excited about the holiday ones. Not so much the minty Christmas theme, but the orange Halloween ones are amazing! Anyways, I do not mean to rant about food for this whole comment. I found the study you mentioned on rats extremely interesting. In fact, my jaw dropped and a let out a little gasp. It is so oddly compelling how the abusive drugs and the high sugar/fat content stimulate the same part of the brain. On another note, people have said that Lays potato chips are addicting, or even Pringles. I think that is more along the line of “I can’t have just one”, though. Still would be something to look in to!

  6. David Ross

    I find it hilarious how relevant this issue is to my life here at Penn State. Yesterday I went out to the store to get some food. I always try to be healthy when I pick out my future snacks and meals but I could not seem to resist from buying the halloween themed Oreos. I knew it was a mistake when I bought them but come on, it’s that time of year! Not even 24 hours later, I have finished the entire box. I always told myself “okay this is the last one for today” and then 30 minutes later I would tell myself the same thing after inhaling 3 or 4 more of the delicious things. I really do think they are addictive. One thing Oreos should do is print a warning on their products saying how addictive they can be. I almost wonder if foods like this should be monitored as heavily as addictive drugs. If Newman- O’s take less time to kill me then I suppose I should give those a try. Maybe this blog just saved my life!

  7. Jessica Heckler

    After answering yes to your title, I decided that I needed to give your blog a look to see what was really causing my oreo addiction. I also chose oreos as my snack of choice a lot of days, also trying to limit myself to two cookies, but when a package of mint or birthday oreos (two of my absolute favorites) are staring right at me, it is hard to just eat two. It makes perfect sense that unhealthy, sugary foods, like oreos, would have this effect on a person’s brain, but when you compare it to the addiction of cocaine, it concerns me just a little bit. Realizing that this could be a real problem, especially for people who struggle with obesity, like you said in your article, I started to question why being addicted to sugary foods was not treated like any other addiction.
    Now of course you never hear of someone overdosing on unhealthy food like you would with someone who suffers from drug or alcohol abuse, but people do die prematurely all the time due to obesity. If eating foods high in sugar and fat stimulate the same part of the brain that abusive drugs do, shouldn’t the treatment for both addictions be the same, especially for people who’s lives are at risk because of their state of obesity? Although we kind of joke about being addicted to oreos, which I will gladly say that I am, if this is true that people can become addicted to these unhealthy foods, I think more needs to be done to inform and help people.

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