The Great Weight Gain Addiction Game, Part 1

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Photo By Stuart Miles

    I am sure that every red-blooded American, male or female, had a childhood preference as to how exactly an Oreo cookie should be eaten. There is a methodology to such things that designates membership to either primary groups or secondary subgroups in the great tradition that is the Oreo pecking order.   

    The mainstay for group assignment was whether or not a person first twisted the cap to expose the creamy inside filling or whether a person bit directly into the cookie sans any cookie adjustment.

    If you were a cap-twister, did you drag your front teeth along the white creamy circle and plow it into your mouth or was your preference the quick- lick approach where the sugary center dot was flicked with the tip of the tongue? Did you immediately assail the creamy middle after the shell had been dismantled or did you pop the dislodged chocolate cap into your mouth first? These things count you know.

    The majority of kids in my neighborhood were cap twisters who viewed direct-biters as genetic mutations who knew either very little or nothing at all about Oreo protocol. To this day we recall them as the Oreo stunted.

    It seemed we could not get enough of those tasty black and white morsels and now, many Oreo cookies down the road into adulthood, it appears that we were right.

    Enter the Rats
    It turns out we are not the only mammals who lust for Oreo cookies.

    Undergraduate researchers at Connecticut college have discovered that rats share our delight for this particular yummy. As a matter of fact, they behave the same way as they do when given cocaine or morphine. In other words, they behave like furry little Oreo addicts who must have a cookie or else.

    At first, the students placed the rats in a maze where Oreo cookies were on one side and rice cakes were on the other. The amount of time rats spent on each side was measured. The less than remarkable outcome was that rats who were given the choice between Oreo cookies and rice cakes choose the cookies more often.

    To further test the rat appeal of Oreo cookies, a similar experiment was conducted in which rats were given the option of saline injections on one side of the maze and cocaine or morphine injections on the other side. The rats spent an equal amount of time on the Oreo side of the maze in the Oreo experiment as they did on the drug side of the maze in the drug experiment.

    The behavior of the rats supports the theory that high fat/high sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do. This helps explain why many people cannot resist foods that they know are bad for their health.    

    Prior research suggests that sugars, fats and salts activate the same neural structures in the brains pleasure center as do drugs. Part two of this article  explores the influence of sugars, fats, and salts on our eating habits.

    And oh, by the way, rats also prefer the cap twist approach over the direct bite method.

    Living life well-fed,
    My Bariatric Life


      
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Published On: October 29, 2013