Oreos as addictive as cocaine? A new study purports to draw a link, but don’t check into a treatment center for your Double Stuf addiction just yet.
Following a Connecticut College press release on an undergraduate student research project, a number of headlines have blared warnings such as “Oreos May Be As Addictive As Cocaine” (TIME) and “College study finds Oreo cookies are as addictive as drugs” (Fox News). The research behind the headlines is not quite so certain, however.
Two tests were run – one featured oreos as a result and another featured cocaine as a resulting reward. The two were not compared to each other.
“The study performed cannot determine whether Oreos are as addictive as cocaine,” said Edythe London, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who uses brain imaging to study the neural basis of drug cravings. “That question is best addressed in a comparison of how hard a rat will work for Oreos versus cocaine — how many times a rat will press a lever to get one or the other.”
It also does not tell us if Oreos are addictive. And even if this was suggested in a further study, it would depend on the individual. Also, extrapolation of rats to humans is not clear cut, even with cookies.
Oreos were used as an example of sweet and high fat treat.