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.