This past week in class we have been discussing the use of cigarettes. Cigarettes are highly addictive things that a large portion of the population uses. Addiction has always interested me in a way. I have always wondered how our bodies can become so dependent on one thing. I guess one reason for this is that addiction runs in my genes. Past family members of mine have succumbed to alcohol addiction, so I know when the time comes and I am legal, I will have to be careful of that. I also know both of my grandparents used to smoke, but luckily they beat their addiction.
I have fortunate to avoid addiction so far in my life. However, there is one exception to that statement. If I had to pick one things that I may be addicted to, it would definitely be…OREOS! Now, I know, many people out there love the classic crème filled cookie. I feel like my love of Oreos goes beyond that. When I eat one cookie, I simply can’t stop. Just having one turn into having three, and before I know it half of the box is gone. Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but you get the point. I just can’t stop.
The other day I was sitting in my apartment doing some schoolwork when I remembered that my one roommate had bought birthday cake Oreos. I was stressed out from studying for an exam and I really just needed something sweet. Therefore, I went into the cabinet in search of those Oreos (don’t worry, I asked permission first). I had a few, and then a few more. I started to get up and reach for a third round of Oreos but stopped myself for fear of making myself sick. “Oreos are so addicting,” I remarked to my other roommate, “I really can’t stop eating them.” Much to my surprise, she remarked that studies have found that Oreos may be as addicting as cocaine.
This really peaked my interest. Oreos are as addicting as cocaine? It couldn’t be. I know I love to joke about this Oreo addiction, but I had no idea there were studies done on the matter. Therefore, I sat down and did some research and what I found amazed me. According to this article, Oreos do in fact have the capability to be as addicting as cocaine.
At Connecticut College researches conducted a study with rats. In one experiment, they were placed in a maze with a rice cake and Oreo. During the study the rats gravitated towards the Oreos. The same study was done with small cocaine injections and saline injections. The rats behaved the same way towards the cocaine as they did towards the Oreos. According to another article done by Forbes, the reason for this is that Oreos trigger the the portion of the brain that gives us the feeling of pleasure.
Now if we look at this experiment, we can see many flaws in it. First of all, the rats tendency to gravitate towards Oreos does not necessarily mean they were addicted to them- it just means they preferred the Oreos to the alternative option. And let’s face it- who wouldn’t? I feel as though a better test as to whether the rats were addicted or not would to be to feed them a large amount of Oreos for an extended period of time and then cut the rats off. By monitoring their reaction to being cut off, I feel as though researches could get a better grasp on just how addictive Oreos are.
Although an Oreo addiction would be better than a cocaine addiction any day of the week, it still can be rather detrimental to your health. As Forbes magazine put it, the addicting qualities of sugary sweets create negative eating habits that worry many health professionals. It is pretty safe to say Oreos aren’t exactly the healthiest option for a snack. Knowing what I know now, I definitely will be laying off the Oreos. While they certainly are a joy to eat, the harmful effects of the cookies will not be so fun later on in life. Bye-bye Oreos- no more addiction for me.