Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day: Oreos and addiction

November 13, 2013 

We feel compelled to weigh in on the recent "Oreo Study," which postulates that Oreos are as addictive as, or maybe more addictive than, morphine and cocaine. The Connecticut College researchers did get a few things right, but we've got to drop the study into the BS (Bad Science) bin.

It's true that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate brain pleasure centers in both humans and rodents (the experiments were done on lab rats). And Oreos contain powdered and granulated sugar, hydrogenated shortening, cocoa and high fructose corn syrup. So when researchers gave the rats the option of a rice cake or an Oreo, it wasn't surprising that lab rats went for the cookie.

But next, researchers compared how much Oreos stimulate the pleasure centers in the rodents' brain with the results of another study that measured the level of pleasure the rats registered from taking narcotics. Researchers discovered the cookies jump-started the rats' pleasure centers as much or more than drugs did.

The Oreo study's conclusion? The cookies are as addictive as narcotics. But addiction in people involves much more than activation of pleasure centers - and shouldn't researchers have directly compared the rats' reactions?

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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