Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oreos: Can you become addicted?

In today’s society, many Americans tend to gravitate towards cheap, convenient food. This seems to make sense from an economic and time standpoint. Today Americans are much busier than they were in the past and are always on the move, sometimes convenience is crucial. Economically it also makes sense because some Americans cannot afford an abundance of healthy foods but they can afford cheap unhealthy foods. In a broader sense, saving time and money in the same purchase is appealing to Americans. Could there be another reason our population tends to gravitate towards these types of foods?

Recent discussion has identified food as an addiction for some people like drugs and alcohol are. One recent study done, at Connecticut College, found that Oreos were addicting to lab rats. This study suggests there might be a reason we cannot stay away from these processed cookies. The study found that pleasure centers in the rat’s brain were stimulated much like they are when the rats are injected with drugs. Also, the rats were released into a maze with rice cakes on one end and Oreos on the other. The mice tended to find their way to the Oreos, which they preferred. This study seems to suggest that there could be some truth to the idea that for some people food does act like a drug. While this research was done on rats, it gives scientists a good starting point for further research on this topic.  

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