Oreos as 'addictive' as cocaine in lab rat study
October 16th, 2013
12:21 PM ET

Oreos as 'addictive' as cocaine in lab rat study

Anyone who's ever eaten an Oreo knows how difficult it can be to eat just one.

Scientists have long suspected that our brains crave junk food in the same way they crave other pleasurable substances, such as illegal drugs. Previous studies in rodents and in humans have shown the same area of the brain that lights up on scans when people use drugs, also shows increased activity when study participants consume, or even look at, high fat, high sugar foods like ice cream or bacon.

Some scientists believe certain foods trigger the brain to signal for more, similar to the way addictive drugs prompt cravings; if we don't fulfill the brain's request, the body could produce a physical response (like caffeine headaches) similar to withdrawal symptoms.

New research from undergraduate students at Connecticut College adds to the growing evidence suggesting that food can be addictive. The students were interested in understanding how the availability of junk food in low-income areas has contributed to America's obesity epidemic.

“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat, high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability,” study designer and neuroscience major Jamie Honohan said in a statement.

The study

The student researchers used a maze with two sides to test their theory. On one side of the maze, they gave the rats Oreos; on the other side, the rats got rice cakes. The rats were then allowed to choose which side of the maze they wanted to explore.

The researchers recorded the amount of time the rats spent on each side. They then compared the times to a similar experiment where the rats were given an injection of cocaine or morphine on one side of the maze and a shot of saline on the other.

The researchers also analyzed the Oreos' effect on the rats' brains by looking at the number of neurons in the nucleus accumbens - the brain's "pleasure center" - that were activated while eating.

The results

The lab rats conditioned with cookies spent just as much time on the "drug" side of the maze as the rats conditioned with cocaine or morphine, the researchers say. "This, by itself, is not surprising or novel," Schroeder told CNN in an e-mail. But researchers also found that the rats eating Oreos experienced more pleasure than the animals being injected with drugs, as measured by activation changes in the nucleus accumbens.

"Taken together, these finding support the hypothesis that consumption of high fat/sugar foods can lead to addictive behaviors and can activate the brain in a similar manner as drugs of abuse," Schroeder said. "This may, in part, help us to understand why individuals who have trouble controlling their food intake, especially when food options are limited to high fat/sugar options, are more susceptible to obesity."


These results have not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. And research in rats does not always translate to humans. It would be difficult to get approval to conduct the same experiment on humans as it would require giving illegal substances to study participants.

The results do also not show that the rats were addicted - in the traditional sense of the word - to the cookies; simply that the rats sought them out and found pleasure in eating them.

While Oreos were used in the study, the experiment was done to illustrate the effect any food high in sugar or fat could be having on your brain.


This study helps us understand why it's sometimes difficult to resist junk food even though we know it's bad for us, Schroeder said. It might be hard to give up your favorite cookies cold turkey, so follow the golden rule of nutrition:

Everything in moderation.

Your brain on food: Obesity, fasting and addiction

soundoff (366 Responses)
  1. Onion Supplier in India

    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!


    April 4, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Galen Limmel

    Technology is just not the easiest based on try to cover your creativity around but if you utilize just what we have actually coached you, it truly must not be that challenging for you to actually figure it out. It actually is most efficient, when you desire truthfully operational results which you exclusively try to tackle simply one discovering location at the same time; wishing to understand every little thing concurrently is usually an unwanted strategy. You have actually obtained great deals of distinct details which are about to be contending for your rate of interest nonetheless the first thing you have to finish is make certain that you've got a remarkable and also trusted understanding of the principles. The important things is not only just what you realize, it really is the means you put it to work. When you're ready to improve the amount that you recognize connecting to this, pay a visit to Our Technology Site with a collection of important suggestions you can make use of. Technology is made complex but you can still achieve a lot once you recognize a little bit now and then use it quickly.


    April 4, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Logan Felger

    The majority of the absolute best information about Technology can be discovered through discovering online, plus it is used at different other areas. The start, nonetheless, is normally the hardest part of essentially any kind of activity as you definitely can't depend on to achieve anything if you don't take the initial step. There are extensive suggestions that you can abide by at Our Technology Site that you need to heed, and relate to stay on the ideal track daily. All you need to achieve is make the most of the huge parts of facts at this source, and you will realize your objectives.


    April 4, 2021 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Delbert Grabinski

    A vast array of information on Technology is to be found by surfing on the web, along with making use of the search engines. Taking your preliminary actions – this is what the expertise we have offered is fixated. So what you require to do currently is take your very first steps, understand that you will not achieve everything overnight, yet that you are utilizing the actions needed to get where you mean to go. It's everything about jotting down your objectives, advising on your own daily of what you want to achieve, and arriving by means of persistency as well as willpower. Many standards and also strategies can be acquired at Our Technology Site, especially in relation to assisting you to complete your objectives. Anyone that mosts likely to this web site can quickly find out something from it, and also even with the huge volume of info, it will aid you ultimately.


    April 4, 2021 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Pat Best

    A lot of the absolute best information concerning Technology can be discovered with exploring on the web, plus it is supplied at different other places. The beginning, nevertheless, is normally the hardest part of practically any kind of activity as you certainly can't depend on to achieve anything if you do not take the preliminary action. There are considerable ideas that you can abide by at Our Technology Site that you require to heed, and also apply to stay on the right track every day. All you have to accomplish is maximize the big parts of realities at this resource, as well as you will certainly understand your goals.


    April 4, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 토토사이트

    Amazing. Genius. You're the professional. Thank you.


    April 4, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. WWW.M106.COM

    *Im impressed, I should say. Truly rarely do I encounter a blog thats both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the concern is something that not enough individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am really happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.


    April 4, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 먹튀검증업체

    I was so pleased because of your blog. Thank an individual so much.


    April 4, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Rosalee Chanoine

    A lot of the best information regarding Technology can be located with discovering online, plus it is used at numerous other locations. The beginning, however, is normally the hardest part of basically any action as you definitely can't trust to obtain anything if you do not take the first action. There are substantial suggestions that you can follow at Our Technology Site that you require to heed, and relate to stay on the right track every day. All you have to complete is maximize the big portions of truths at this source, as well as you will realize your purposes.


    April 5, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Leslie Diesen

    In case things fall short to end up equally as you intended when handling Technology, you ought to not get mad at on your own – it is tough to recognize this when you at first start. Achieving anything in life starts with starting in the right instructions, as well as understanding our expectation and desires. When you have a target to understand or a trouble to deal with, you need to manage it a action at once. Starting is typically the tricky part – you can do that currently utilizing the points we've simply given you. More than likely, you will certainly want to figure out extra on this subject matter. If that is the case, going to Our Technology Site will certainly use you a whole lot much more information.


    April 5, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Max Glas

    It is so crucial, perhaps important, for you to have actually a option oriented method when working with Technology. Certainly, countless individuals are currently completing this, yet handling Technology is not the easiest matter on this world. Anybody that requires help with this should certainly go over to Our Technology Site to obtain added support as well as recommendations.


    April 5, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. zom

    Excellent blog you've got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    April 5, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jenell Laesser

    Technology is just not the easiest subject to try to wrap your imagination around however if you use just what we've tutored you, it actually ought to not be that challenging for you to actually figure it out. It actually is most reliable, when you desire truthfully operational results which you entirely attempt to handle just one finding out area at the same time; wanting to recognize every little thing all at once is generally an unfavorable strategy. You've gotten great deals of distinct details which are about to be contending for your interest nonetheless the first thing you need to finish is be sure that you have actually obtained a fantastic and trusted understanding of the fundamentals. The important things is not only just what you understand, it truly is the method you place it to work. When you prepare to boost the amount that you understand associating with this, visit Our Technology Site with a collection of beneficial advice you can make use of. Technology is made complex however you can still achieve a whole lot once you understand a bit from time to time use it immediately.


    April 5, 2021 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Brenton Basket

    A lot of the very best information about Technology can be found with checking out online, plus it is supplied at different other places. The beginning, nonetheless, is typically the hardest part of virtually any type of action as you absolutely can not depend on to achieve anything if you don't take the first action. There are comprehensive tips that you can abide by at Our Technology Site that you need to heed, and also apply to stay on the best track every day. All you have to accomplish is take advantage of the huge portions of truths at this resource, and you will certainly recognize your objectives.


    April 5, 2021 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 안전공원

    It's a envious article. It's very awesome and different. Who happen to be you to write this particular special article?


    April 5, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Faustino Espenscheid

    Technology is simply not the simplest based on attempt to wrap your creativity around yet if you use what exactly we've tutored you, it actually ought to not be that tough for you to in fact figure it out. It actually is most reliable, when you want truthfully functional results which you only attempt to handle just one learning location at the same time; intending to understand whatever at the same time is normally an unfavorable plan. You have actually obtained great deals of distinctive details which will be contending for your passion nevertheless the first thing you need to finish is be sure that you've got a terrific and also reliable understanding of the fundamentals. Things is not only just what you realize, it really is the means you put it to function. When you're ready to enhance the amount that you recognize connecting to this, visit Our Technology Site with a collection of valuable guidance you can make use of. Technology is made complex however you can still accomplish a lot once you comprehend a bit every now and then utilize it instantly.


    April 5, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 사설토토

    Wow. Master. You're some sort of master. Appreciate you.


    April 5, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. zom

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.


    April 5, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Everette Lindzy

    It is a great deal greater than feasible to spend all your time investigating Technology as well as below is something which will allow you to gather all the facts you need that are the most important to your goals. If you want to get excellent results that genuinely issue, you can not postpone the essential actions. On the occasion that you aren't clear regarding a information or more, return and check out it once again or ask a individual that you trust fund. You do not desire small troubles to hold you down. Among the areas you can go when you would like to find out more is Our Technology Site, which has helped a great deal of people who are where you are.


    April 5, 2021 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Danial Workman

    In case things fall short to end up just as you planned when dealing with Technology, you must not anger at yourself – it is tough to recognize this when you originally start out. Completing anything in life starts with starting in the best direction, and also realizing our assumption and dreams. When you have a target to recognize or a trouble to fix, you have to handle it a step each time. Starting is commonly the complicated component – you can do that now making use of the points we have actually simply given you. More than likely, you will intend to figure out more on this subject issue. If that is the case, going to Our Technology Site will offer you a whole lot a lot more information.


    April 6, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Vernice Vars

    Yet another problem that on the internet chatting might current will be assurance of the person. As it is definitely better in order to discuss on the web, a person who’s really timid or maybe shy sometimes have difficulty keeping up having whom the person truly is usually. The individual alternatively is similar to living together oceans.


    April 6, 2021 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 안전놀이터목록

    It's a envious article. It's very amazing and brand-new. Who are you to write this kind of special article?


    April 6, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Adolph Dittman

    you're really a just right webmaster. The web site loading pace is amazing. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent process in this topic!


    April 6, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 카지노사이트

    Thank you so much intended for enabling us know what My partner and i didn't know. I count on working with you.


    April 6, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 카지노사이트

    Wow, the articles are so sexy. How can easily My spouse and i write like a person? My partner and i are looking for the similar writing skills since you.


    April 7, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Ekonomia Finanse

    Każdy potrafi współczuć cierpieniom przyjaciela. Ale cieszenie się jego sukcesem wymaga charakteru wysokiej klasy. Oscar Wilde.


    April 7, 2021 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. chrome blow bars

    Chrome layering looks an awful whole lot like items made from stainless steel But which material is better? Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each.


    April 7, 2021 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Ekonomia

    Henri Millon Montherlant wyznawał maksymę, że Przyjaźń między kobietami jest niczym więcej jak paktem o nieagresji.


    April 7, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 우리카지노

    Thank you so much regarding making me personally know what My spouse and i didn't know. I enjoy working with you.


    April 8, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Aurea Estabrook

    Sometimes when you are first staring out, Technology can really feel irritating, however do not let that quit you. Even though there is not any magic formula that will certainly allow you to get to every goal by simply waving your magic wand, if you put in the work and also use some standard and basic concepts all your objectives will certainly be obtainable. You have actually additionally got a fantastic amount of sources that can aid you and also a superb location to begin is with Our Technology Site. You can additionally find help by visiting Our Technology Site.


    April 8, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jamila Centrone


    April 9, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Ekonomia Tematy

    Kobiety nie lubia bohaterow, lubia zwyciezcow... Cult of Flawless Victory RUlz. R. Beauvais! POZDRO 600!


    April 9, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Ekonomia Blog

    Anna Rokita Mawiala, ze Milosc,przyjazń I BRATERSTWO sa jak magia. Nie mozemy ich zobaczyc, ale czujemy je. I ja sie po czesci z tym zgadzam 🙂 A ty ?


    April 9, 2021 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. tnpsc general tamil questions and answers

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


    April 10, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. pack and movers

    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!


    April 10, 2021 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 카지노사이트

    Whoa. Wizard. You're some sort of professional. Give thanks you.


    April 10, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Raje Podatkowe

    Just now you can branch out from your daily understanding. The best thing you can do is become relevant with yourself and faithful with your own morals. This will lead to a sad and unfulfilling life.


    April 10, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Vernon Dalrymple

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    April 11, 2021 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 카지노사이트

    Just what a man of capacity! You have the potential to compose good points that you can't come across anyplace. to envy


    April 11, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Houston Frankford

    If you tow a definite caravan nor van movie trailer your entire family pretty soon get exposed to the down sides towards preventing best securely region. awnings


    April 11, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 사설토토

    Thank anyone so much for allowing myself know what I didn't know. I anticipate working with you.


    April 11, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills

    canadian generic pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pharmacies ed pills

    April 11, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 사설토토

    What a man of ability! You have the power to publish excellent things that you can't get at any place. to envy


    April 11, 2021 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. video of transurethral alprostadil admimistering

    alprostadil penile injection https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil use after heart surgery

    April 12, 2021 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Reyes Sartorio

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. In concept I would like to place in writing such as this moreover – spending time and actual effort to create a excellent article… but so what can I say… I procrastinate alot through no indicates find a way to go completed.


    April 12, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 먹튀검증

    At this particular charge, you can premiere as a article writer. I am just so touched. Now i'm delighted to meet you. Give thanks you.


    April 12, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 먹튀사이트

    Wow, the writing is so sexy. How can I write like an individual? We are looking for the similar writing skills since you.


    April 13, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. best cbd for anxiety

    CBD for Anxiety as well as Clinical Depression: Think of that it is feasible to present one all-natural preparation right into your everyday diet, which might show to be the key to winning the defend a calmer life for individuals with depressive conditions. What if the addition of this preparation, developed on the basis of a progressively popular and tested chemical compound of plant origin, is not just potentially really reliable, but is not connected with the danger of adverse effects common of medicinal medications? Is it also possible? Where's the catch? Do you wish to know even more? Read this article In this article we will certainly cover: What is clinical depression? THC as well as CBD cannabinoids – differences Clinical depression and also the endocannabinoid system What is clinical depression? Main meanings suggest that depressive disorders, likewise understood informally as depression, are identified by: unexpected clinical depression of an individual's mood, in the unfavorable direction, of moderate to strong strength of the strength of the knowledgeable modifications, for greater than a few weeks. There might be several factors for the incident of adjustments. It additionally occurs that it is tough to recognize any type of unequivocal factor. We extremely usually stumbled upon the declaration that it is a human being disease of the 21st century – it impacts both older and also younger individuals. Our education is trivial for clinical depression, not to mention our profits – it can impact any individual. Therapy of depression boils down to: pharmacotherapy, psychiatric therapy and also psychoeducation, phototherapy, electroconvulsive therapy as well as even more all-natural tasks connected to the climax of physical activity and also the introduction of substantial adjustments in the daily diet. It is as part of natural methods of dealing with as well as combating clinical depression that the addition of marijuana preparations with cannabinoids naturally happening in the plant in the daily diet plan is gaining increasingly more appeal in the world. Cannabidiol CBD, discovered in e.g. CBD oil or full-spectrum hemp oil, appears in many clinical studies as a possibly effective cannabinoid in the treatment of clinical depression. Importantly, it is a 100 all-natural chemical compound of plant beginning. Interestingly, clinical depression is among the three most common mental illness in which patients consider CBD hemp prep work such as CBD oil, full spectrum hemp oil with CBD or CBD capsules. Reports from customers and also their positive point of views on the efficiency of e.g. CBD oil or complete spectrum hemp oil with all-natural CBD are expanding at an unprecedented speed. THC and also CBD cannabinoids – distinctions The key cannabinoids in the marijuana plant are THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) as well as CBD (cannabidiol). They show hostile effects, which implies that CBD decreases the impacts of THC. What are these effects? THC has an envigorating result, triggers a sensation of euphoria, impacts cognitive functions, but also kicks back. Huge, routinely eaten dosages of THC are thought about unsafe to the human mind. Excessive intake of THC can bring about psychosis, absence of motivation, and even long-term unfavorable modifications in cognitive feature. Both THC and also CBD impact the endocannabinoid system in the body. Their activity, as currently mentioned, is contradictory. Cbd-a-thc-in-the-endocannabinoid-1 system When composing pictures, CBD reduces the depletion of anandamide resources, and also THC quicken this process. Nonetheless, this does not suggest that THC is only a hazardous cannabinoid and needs to not be in the prep work in any way. As a matter of fact. Its tiny presence in hemp preparations is even essential in order to get the supposed impact. harmony. THC in full range hemp oil is present in such a minimal and, significantly, lawful amount. This amount is so small (less than 0.2) that it does not trigger drunkenness. Working together, THC as well as CBD have greater potential than either particle performing alone. What is anandamide (AEA)? What is its relevance for individuals experiencing anxiety? Keep reading! CBD, Depression as well as the endocannabinoid system The endocannabinoid system is an essential system responsible for the regulation of basic human physical processes, such as energy administration, neurohormonal and also neuroimmune connections, electric motor activity, mood and also inspiration, as well as fat metabolism. The endocannabinoid system includes a neurotransmitter called anandamide (AEA). Anandamide is a natural chemical that is naturally generated in the human brain. Its manufacturing is stimulated by e.g. physical activity, and to a minimal level by the supposed deal with the body (massage therapy!). Its resources are "utilized" to keep the correct functioning of the body, including in the field of mental wellness. As displayed in this research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23580381 high levels of anandamide are connected with a lowered threat of developing psychotic symptoms. A high level of anandamide is likewise associated with a favorable result on the decrease of clinical depression and stress and anxiety signs. This device is still not totally understood, yet it appears rational that a highly depressed state of mind in a private period for a particular instance, as well as with the simultaneous absence of actions targeted at its improvement, brings about a surge of the increase of unfavorable thoughts. As depressive problems establish, they can become even more unsafe kinds of disorders, e.g. psychosis, misconceptions or schizophrenia. Slowing down this procedure as swiftly as feasible might become critical in the effective therapy of mental disorders of human functioning.


    April 13, 2021 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 먹튀검증

    Wow, the writing is so sexy. How could My partner and i write like you? I actually wish to have the similar writing skills as you.


    April 13, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Kami Schmeckpeper

    A person made some nice factors there. I did a search about the issue as well as discovered nearly just about all individuals goes together with together with your blog.


    April 13, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.