October 17th, 2013

Research proves lab rats are just like humans

That is, they’re addicted to Oreos, and they like to eat the insides first.


I kid you not.

I wonder if, given the opportunity, they also would do what I used to do when I was a little girl: break the Oreos into pieces and mix the pieces into Mott’s applesauce. The apples gave it a little kick, and the entire concoction had a nice crunch if you ate it before the cookies became soggy, a feat I always managed.

Alas, I no longer eat Oreos, because I now can’t eat chocolate since it gives me migraines. I suppose this inability to eat Oreos is a good thing, though, because that’s one less addictive fat-and-sugar-laden treat that can beckon to me. The news that they are addictive is no surprise, nor is it any surprise that in general foods loaded with fat and sugar are addictive.

And “addictive” isn’t just a figure of speech in this case:

New research suggests that sugary, fatty treats can elicit the same reaction and activate the brain in a similar manner as cocaine and morphine, at least in lab rats…

The experiment was…repeated with…rats being offered injections of cocaine or morphine in one room and saline in the other…[T]he researchers found that the rats had an “equivalent preference” for a room when it contained an Oreo as when they were given injections of morphine and cocaine.

Further examination of the rats’ brains found that they had higher cellular activity in the “pleasure center” of their brain after eating an Oreo versus being injected with one of the drugs.

But the rats didn’t “seem to get much pleasure” out of eating rice crackers. My guess is that they’re not partial to cardboard, either.

10 Responses to “Research proves lab rats are just like humans”

  1. KLSmith Says:

    Crisco and peanut butter are the best baits for rat and mouse traps. So Oreo filling qualifies as a tasty rodent treat. Never liked Oreos as much after I found out the filling was basically sweetened Crisco.

  2. Gringo Says:

    Fortunately, I do not get headaches from chocolate. Taking a cue from Mexican cuisine, I add chocolate – scraped off an unsweetened baking square- to my stew of chili peppers with meat and vegetables. Tastes much better with the chocolate added.

    As I currently have a rat problem to deal with, maybe I will try baiting the traps with Oreos.

    I never liked Oreos that much.

  3. parker Says:

    As a kid I was never an Oreo fan. Fig Newtons were what I begged mom to buy.

    Gringo – For rodent control get a Schipperke. They are great at finding and killing rodents. As an added bonus they are very intelligent and extremely loyal and affectionate.

  4. Hugh Jarse Says:

    I for one am not buying into that whole oreo/cocaine comparison. for one thing, you have to chop up the cookie part separate from the filling, or it is virtually un-snortable. And there is nothing worse than walking around all day with those black circles around your nostrils – a dead giveaway.

  5. Liz Says:

    @Hugh Jarse:

    I was going to post a snarky, borderline anti-American comment about how awful Oreos are. And I stand by that. But I love your comment, and am easily distracted so, uh, what was my point again?

  6. Lee Says:

    I think if the rats were given the choice of, oh, let’s say, plain rice cakes and cheese flavored rice cakes, they’d hang around the cheese flavored rice cakes, like the Oreos. If they had been given a choice between Oreoas, and Le Petit Ecolier, they’d be hanging out at Le Petit Ecolier. I mean, jeez, a choice between RICE CAKES and OREOS? I hate Oreos, and even I would hang out waiting for Oreos, if my only other option was a RICE CAKE. Yum! Styrofoam!

  7. Don Carlos Says:

    “New research ‘suggests’”. Suggests. Unpublished data revealed to flame-fanning ABC jornolists for purposes of self-promotion (an Assistant Prof and her grad student) and titillation of sheep. Plus of course the requisite anti-corporate slant (eevil corp makes Oreos, “as addicting as cocaine”).

    What a load of crap=why I do not watch anything save the odd movie on TV.

  8. GPM Says:

    Neo- if you can’t eat the chocolate oreos there are now “golden oreos” that are every bit as delicious and addictive.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Yes, I recognized the self-promotion angle.

    I wrote this one because I like the idea of the rats eating the centers first.

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    Yes, I’ve seen all the alternate varieties of Oreo. But I think I’ll just keep away from them. Why take on a new vice at this late date?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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