Oreo addictive response found to be stronger than cocaine

October 16, 2013

A new study claims they can be just as addictive as cocaine.

Researchers at Connecticut College studied rats and found that eating the popular sandwich cookies activated more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than exposure to drugs.

The scientists say they believe that high-fat foods loaded with sugar stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do.

But one consumer group is criticizing the study. The Center of Consumer Freedom says "food addiction claims" are not real.

The group says Cambridge University researchers recently re-issued a warning not to regard "food addiction" as the cause of obesity, noting they found "no conclusive evidence" of food withdrawal and little reason to equate food and narcotics.

"You don't see anyone holding up a convenience store to feed their deep addiction to Snickers bars," said J. Justin Wilson, CCF's senior research analyst. "Before we start sounding the alarms and pulling Oreos off the shelf, it's best to note this 'study' is the unpublished abstract of not-yet-peer-reviewed research that has yet to even be presented for scrutiny."

The students conducted the study with Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program at the college.

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