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October 15, 2013
NEW LONDON, Conn.Oreo cookies, America's No. 1 cookie, may be as addictive as cocaine, according to research that will be presented Nov. 13, at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego.
The study was designed to shed light on addictiveness to high-fat/high-sugar foods. Joseph Schroeder, Ph.D., lead author of the study, believes that cravings for drugs as well as highly palatable foods can be triggered simply by exposure to a reward-paired environment. In addition, the discovery was made that eating cookies activates more neurons in the brain's nucleus accumenes, also known as the pleasure center, in comparison to drugs of abuse.
The current study employed an 8-day biased CPP paradigm to compare the rewarding properties of a high fat/sugar food (Oreo cookies) that is highly palatable to humans and rats to the rewarding properties of cocaine and morphine. Reward behavior was correlated with immunohistochemical measurement of nucleus accumbens c-Fos expression.
Results indicate that the reward behavior associated with consuming Oreos is equivalent to conditioned place preference to cocaine or morphine.
The Americas Favorite Cookie Brands" Image Gallery highlighting the Top 8 U.S. cookie brands ranked by consumers in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend (EQ) study. Market data compiled by Symphony IRI found U.S. consumers spent approximately $4.1 billion on the tasty treats in 2011.
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