NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)-- We all know how hard it is to eat just one Oreo but students in Connecticut decided to sit down and study it. And you'll be shocked to find out the delicious cookie might be just as addictive as a drug.
Hopefully this won't be an excuse for those who say they just can't put these cookies down, but folks at Conn College say Oreos are truly addictive.
"So what we would do, we would offer the animals Oreo cookies or expose them to cocaine say in the striped side," said Joseph Schroeder.
Neuroscience professor Joseph Schroeder and his Connecticut College students found lab rats chose that striped side over the dotted side where they were given rice cakes and saline solution.
"Animals exposed to Oreo cookies or high fat high sugar foods will develop a preference that's equivalent to cocaine or morphine," said Schroeder.
That in itself may not be surprising, so they took their research further studying the so-called "pleasure center" of the rat's brain.
"We used that microscope actually right over there," said Lauren Cameron, senior.
What they found was even more stimulating. The Oreos activated even more neurons than cocaine.
"It was significantly higher from a statistical stand point but it was by no means double the activation," said Schroeder.
So like abused drugs high fat/high sugar foods also appear to be addictive. Something this future physicians assistant may consider if she treats obese children.
When asked if she'll think of this study, Cameron said, "yeah probably."
This may not be the scientific part of the study but turns out lab rats just like humans like to eat the middle first.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- If you've ever said you were 'addicted to chocolate' or that cookies were 'like crack' to you, you may have been right in a scientific sense.
Researchers at Connecticut College found rats got more pleasure from Oreos than from drugs.
Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students looked at activity in the pleasure center of the brain. They gave some rats Oreos and others drugs like cocaine and morphine, and they found Oreos activated significantly more neurons in the pleasure center than the drugs did.
"Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do," Schroeder said in a news release. "It may explain why some people can't resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them."
The student who came up with this study, Jamie Honohan, is with Conn College's Center for Community Action, and she wanted to look at poor communities where you find lots of drug addicts, and also lots of obesity. Now we know that could be for the same reason; the pleasure you get from food with lots of sugar and fat is just as great, if not greater, than the pleasure you get from cocaine.
Of course, it's not a perfect comparison. Rats are not people, but we do have a lot in common. It turns out that lab rats eat Oreos just the way most people do.
"They would break it open and eat the middle first," Honohan said.
Actor/Comedian Will Farrell, in his guise as anchorman "Ron Burgundy", delighted fans who spotted him out and about in Milford Thursday.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A transgender police officer has filed a complaint with a state agency alleging her supervisors created a hostile work environment because of her gender identity.
Connecticut education officials have issued a report card showing that based on test data more than half of the state's schools met their overall performance targets.
Police are on the scene of a two-vehicle accident in Orange, involving a school bus.
A man killed in an early morning crash in Woodbridge has been identified.
Repairs to fix a water main break in downtown Hartford could last through the evening commute.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Two men extradited from Britain last year are expected to change their pleas on charges they supported terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya by operating websites to raise cash, recruit fighters and solicit items …
If you're stopping to get a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat today, some of the people who are normally behind the counter may be rallying outside the restaurant.
The effort to get guns off the streets of Hartford kicks into high gear this weekend with a gun buyback event.
Route 15 has reopened following a multi-vehicle accident in Hamden.