Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oreos, Cocaine, and Morphine

No way.

Oreos, sugary treats, are not as addictive as morphine.

That's just stupid.

New research suggests that sugary, fatty treats can elicit the same reaction and activate the brain in a similar manner as cocaine and morphine, at least in lab rats.

Joseph Schroeder, an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Center at Connecticut College, is expected to present the study, which has not yet been published, next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, Calif.

Oreos weren't specifically singled out for their ability to trigger a snack attack, they were just a handy device to get enough fat and sugar in the rat's habitat, Schroeder said.

A spokeswoman for Mondelez International, which owns Nabisco, the maker of the iconic sandwich cookie, cautioned people against associating Oreo with the findings since the cookies were used as "a proxy for a non-specific 'sweet' variable."

"While it may seem simple to bucket foods as 'good' or 'bad,' the reality is that foods are complex, and encouraging people to enjoy a balanced diet paired with physical activity is most important," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

The experiment was actually conceived by Schroder's neuroscience student, Jamie Honohan, to examine the effects of high-fat and high-sugar foods on the brain. Honohan said she is interested in examining the effects of high concentrations of fatty and sugary foods in lower-income areas where there tend to be higher rates of obesity.

...Further examination of the rats' brains found that they had higher cellular activity in the "pleasure center" of their brain after eating an Oreo versus being injected with one of the drugs.

"That's the novel finding that applies to us," said Schroder. "We found that the high-fat or high-sugar food activated the brain to a greater extent than the cocaine or morphine."

There is no way the "pleasure center" of the human brain would have higher cellular activity from eating an Oreo than from morphine.

I don't believe that.

Rats are not people.

Oreos are not like morphine.

Have you ever felt really, really good after eating an Oreo?

I think it was a cheap stunt for Schroeder to use a name brand cookie like Oreos in his study.

Really stupid.