Are Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine?

If you’re anything like me, there is no such thing as eating simply one Oreo. You lift back the cover, eat a few cookies, and next thing you know, 2 sleeves are gone. Coming in various forms such as peanut butter flavored, “cakesters”, and “double stufed” there is no shortage of Oreo products. It’s as if the whole world, including myself, cannot get enough of the Oreo flavor. This had led many people to believe that Oreo products are addicting and question whether or not they may be even more or just as addicting as drugs like cocaine.

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Image found here.

Students at Connecticut College ran a study to test the addictiveness of foods high in sugar such as Oreos. The experiment was tested on lab rats with rats on one side of the maze given Oreos and the other, the control, rice cakes. They then recorded which side of the maze the rats chose to go to and how much time was spent on the Oreo side. (While it is not relevant to the results, I found it funny the study found that the rats broke the cookies apart to eat the cream in the middle just as many humans do). The results of this Oreo/ rice cake test were then compared with a second test. In the second test, rats on one side of the maze were injected with cocaine and morphine, while on the other side they were injected with saline (Conn. College).  After comparing the 2 test results, it was found that the rats spent just as much time on the Oreo side of the maze as they did on the cocaine/ morphine side of the maze. Students then tested the level of neuron activation in the area of the brain know as the “pleasure center” under both stimuli. They found that more neurons were activated “under the influence” of Oreos rather than cocaine or morphine (Conn. College). Even though this study was performed on rats, it is probable that these results could pertain to humans as well.

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Image found here.

In addition to Oreos, these results likely could have come from any high- fat/ sugary food suggesting why many people may have a problem over eating. Many researchers and nutritionists also suggest that these foods may even be more dangerous than addictive drugs because of their affordability and availability. It appears that lower income families tend to consume more foods high in fat and sugar, regardless of whether or not they are bad for them, because that is the only option they have.

With the many facts provided, one can see that Oreo addiction is a real matter. After recent studies, scientists have concluded that the chocolate creamy goodness is a mouthwatering treat that many people can’t resist. While there may not be any accounts of “Oreo overdoses” I’m sure if you ask any Oreo lover they will agree that Oreos are addicting and undeniable.







4 thoughts on “Are Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine?

  1. Mallory Dixon

    The title of your post caught my eye because I LOVE oreos. I currently have a full box in my room and they’ll probably be gone within the next few days. I completely relate to your introduction about how you plan on only eating one or two cookies, but before you know it you ate half the box. I never thought about oreos being an addictive food, I just assumed I overate them because I was blindly eating them- meaning I wasn’t paying attention to how many I ate. I found this article that goes against what you are saying in post. It’s about how oreos are NOT addictive, but people think they are because you could become addicted to almost anything.

  2. Victor William Gregory

    Hey Avery,
    I liked your idea of looking into the addictiveness of food, specifically Oreos. I feel that research like this could help us come to conclusions about the food processing industry that could lead to big changes that could positively affect obesity across the globe. While i do agree that Oreo’s are good and can be hard to put down at times, I hardly think they fit the descriptor, “addictive.” Unless a person is consuming them on an routine daily basis, they are most likely not addicted to them. I wish there had more discussion about the possible correlation between the time the rats spent on either side, and the number of neurons activated in each rat. Below is an article on WebMD that discusses food consumption addiction. I think a strong case could be made for sugary foods being highly addictive.,d.eWE

  3. Brandon Ross Armitt

    Ironically as I was reading your post about the Oreos, I was sitting here scarfing down a box a goldfish. I didn’t even realize the connection until I was done reading and I doubled the amount that I intended to eat. Then that had me thinking, what other snacks can be considered as addicting or more addicting then cocaine. I can certainly point one out and that would be goldfish, mostly because I have fallen victim to sitting there slowly eating them, next thing I know the box is almost empty. I don’t believe that there is an ingredient in it to making them so addicting, but I always wondered if I’m the only person that believes this. Having an addiction like to Goldfish or Oreos can be just as dangerous. Because they are so accessible and affordable, it can ultimately lead to excessive weight gain. I would be interested to see if the same experiment was performed with goldfish whether it would have the same affect.

    The following link talks about why snack foods are so addicting to some people:

  4. Taylor Weinstein

    Hi Avery,
    This was a very interesting article and the argument here I have heard of before. I do have to agree with you Oreos are very addictive. I do wonder how ever why the rats went to the cocaine side and still spent the same amount of time. I wish you could have talked more about science information and talked about null hypothesis and chance and more information instead of summarizing. This did affect me however because I do agree many people will go for the unhealthy food considering it’s much cheaper and more affordable. This is a very well known topic and scientist say that they could be more addictive than Cocaine do to the sugar. That is also funny that the rats went right to the middle of the Oreo and ate the cream first.
    (It;s very interesting that rates poses habits that humans do as well.)

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