This is Why You're Fat: OREOs Just As Pleasurable To Your Brain As Cocaine And Heroin

October 17, 2013


In news that shouldn't surprise anybody who has an OREO gut but not a drug problem, scientists at Connecticut College have determined high fat and sugar foods like OREOs stimulate the brain in the same way drugs do -- deliciously. Well, at least in rats. And if you don't think you're more like a rat than you imagine, you should hear what your friends say about you behind you back. Lisa even said you have beady eyes!

The study, which will be presented at the Society for Neuroscience's annual conference next month, also made another discovery: Rats, like humans, like to eat Oreo's creamy center first.

When rats were given Oreos, a protein called c-Fos was expressed strongly in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which is well known to be active in pleasure and addiction.

"It basically tells us how many cells were turned on in a specific region of the brain in response to the drugs or Oreos," said Connecticut College professor Joseph Schroeder, who led the research. Oreos actually activated cells in this brain area more than did either cocaine or morphine, which suggests that that magical combination of sugar and fat may be even more delectable to our brains than drugs.

Maybe that's why we have so many more obese people than hard drug addicts. Why drop so much money for cocaine or heroin when you can get your fix dunking packages of Double Stuf OREOs? Sure there are negative side effects to any physical dependance, but hey, at least you're not a heroin addict. What can I say, I'm a glass half full kind of guy. "Wait -- is that liquor?" *chugging* We all have our demons.

Thanks to Michael, who agrees they should also add Fruit Roll-Ups and chocolate pudding packs to the list of better than drug foods.

  • Louis-Nicolas Dozois

    Great segment about this on The Reality Check podcast.

  • Spencer Charczuk

    This is the epitome of junk science.

  • Guest

    This is

  • Guest

    "Rats, like humans, like to eat Oreo's creamy center first." But I hate the creamy part, I like eating the choclate crackers that the oreos provide with milk; I love milk :D

  • Dinosaur Rex

    So, would this explain why I don't like cocaine? I don't like oreos, I've never liked them.

  • qwert`

    huh. I'd be underwhelmed by cocane

  • HackTheGibson

    This has been clarified. Many assumptions were made and very far leaps to get that conclusion. They puts rats in a maze and the rats went to the oreos over the rice cakes. So all it does is show that rats and I both prefer oreos over rice cakes. They are starting to get the updated info out there, but this story might have spread too far.

  • Jane Savage

    You forgot to mention how they reached the Cocaine comparison. Where they put a cocaine (in liquid form) solution in one corner and a saline solution in another and observed the rats flocking to the cocaine section in the same formation as the Oreo cookie versus rice cake scenario.

  • Rad Chad


  • kristopher

    This explains a lot....about your mom.

  • So why can I put coke down whenever I want (and I swear I will right after this next hit) but I'm all over oreos like a fat kid? Or vice versa.

  • Max Baldwin

    Just because I snorted an Oreo, it doesn't make me a bad person

  • Gary Castaldo

    We already know it's not the Fats it's the Sugar

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