Can food be so good that it is addictive?


| 4 Comments
Do you ever feel like you can't stop eating? Like you have to eat that next chip or cookie? Well recent studies show that may be because our bodies are addicted to them, kind of like being addicted to certain drugs. Imagine if eating Oreos could have the same affects on the human body as taking dangerous drugs like cocaine. 

In a study done in Connecticut College they used Oreo cookies and rats to see if unhealthy foods were considered addictive to humans. In the study, researchers used mice to try and see if they were addicted to America's favorite cookies. In the study they associated one side of a maze with Oreos and the other side of the maze (control) with a type of food that was relatively neutral. What they found was that the mice were acting the same way as a different study they had recently done. The study was similar to the the study with Oreos, however it was done with highly addictive drugs on one side and saline on the other side. This lead the researches to believe that unhealthy foods, specifically Oreos, might have addictive properties.

This research could have huge impacts on everyday foods like Oreos if scientists are able to find more solid evidence linking human addictiveness to fatty foods. It could affect how foods are made, and maybe even outlaw some foods (purely me thinking the worse here). However, I don't think that at this point this research has enough proof to sway me out of eating my cookies. 

To me I think that there might be some room in the research to find some debate. Maybe there isn't a link between the cookie and which side the mice picks because the cookies are addictive. It could be purely because of taste, and nothing to do with being addicted to it. Even if the actions of the rats in the two studies are similar, it doesn't necessarily mean that the mouse was addicted. It could have been going back to the Oreo side for many reasons. Another reason why I wouldn't go ahead and throw away all of my Oreos is because it doesn't mean that humans are the same way as rats.

4 Comments

Brennan,
It is such a coincidence that you wrote your blog about this because one of my roommates was telling me the other day that she had read on the internet that Oreos could be as addictive as cocaine! I didn't want to believe her because Oreos are my favorite cookie that is not home made. They are just so delicious and are the perfect complement to a nice, tall glass of cold milk. I also feel that there isn't enough evidence of Oreo's being as addictive as cocaine to make me stop eating Oreos. When I really think about it, if the claims that these students are making are true, then there are plenty of other foods that are probably just as addictive as cocaine. One that comes to mind automatically is potato chips. I have never seen someone eat just one potato chip or cheese doodle in my entire life when there is a bowl full of the salty snacks in front of them. I think that it is very logical to think that there may be addictive qualities in Oreos but until there is more evidence, I will continue to eat these delicious cookies. However, I did find something From "Food Product Design" that said, "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." So I think maybe scientists are definitely onto something. I got this information from the website below, you should check it out!

http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2013/10/research-shows-oreo-s-as-addictive-as-cocaine.aspx

I heard the same thing that Carolyn said! "Being addicted" to food per say is also linked to cravings. I actually wrote a blog about cravings last week, though I just found a different article that explained the correlation. Sometimes when you crave something, the craving gets to be so bad that you're actually uncomfortable unless you meet that need. Say, for instance, you crave m&ms. If you spend your entire day craving it, when you actually get your hands on a package you may over-indulge because you've been wanting it for so long. This behavior can be linked to "addiction" because in that moment you can't stop yourself from eating those m&ms.


http://blog.seattlepi.com/timigustafsonrd/2013/10/16/scientists-question-the-validity-of-food-addiction/

I'm generally not so crazy about food, but when I get into something. I will only eat that food for a month. that is an addiction. and what an interesting study on oreos! and i'm with you on the fact that I wouldn't throw all of my oreos away because we can never "prove" fully and the study might be an error. I think it would be more dangerous if the staple foods were more addictive than like oreos (things that we don't need for survival) but yet again, if it's good and makes you happy, what does it matter? so enjoy!

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/5-most-addictive-foods1.htm

It is funny that you wrote this blog because I always thought food was addictive. I can eat an entire bag of the mini donuts in one sitting which is not something that most people do. I can never seem to stop eating them, though. I would physically have to have someone hide the bag from me in order to keep from eating them. I researched this topic a little more and found that the most addictive foods are ones with sugar, salt, and fat in them. These foods trigger dopamine which is the reason why people continue to eat. People get pleasure from eating foods and are more likely to keep eating them. Food addiction can result in obesity.
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-food-addiction

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