Oreos Are As Addictive As Drugs, Study Reveals

November 14, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. correlate [KAWR-uh-leyt, KOR- ] (v.) – to establish mutual relationship or connection between two things
Example: Obesity is correlated and usually associated with unhealthy lifestyle.

2. saline [SEY-leen, -lahyn] (adj.) – having or containing salt
Example: The ocean is salty because it is a saline body of water.

3. addictive [uh-DIK-tiv] (adj.) – causing one to do a certain habit or practice regularly
Example: He lost all his properties because of his addictive habit of gambling.

4. consume [kuh n-SOOM] (v.) – to eat, drink, or ingest something
Example: The family consumed all the food served in the table.

5. pleasure [PLEZH-er] (n.) – a feeling of delight or satisfaction
Example: Jasmine enjoys the pleasure of shopping.


Read the text below.
In a recent study, a group of researchers have discovered that Oreo cookies may be as addictive as cocaine [koh-KEYN] or morphine [MAWR-feen].

Oreo has become the best-selling cookie in America since 1912. It is a chocolate cookie sandwich with a sweet creamy filling that now comes in different flavors.

Researchers from the Connecticut [kuh-NET-i-kuh t] College designed the study to shed light on the potential addictiveness of foods that are high in fat and sugar. The experiment involved rats.

The researchers placed the rats in a maze with rice cakes on one side and Oreos on the other. They then observed the behavior of the rats on both sides of the maze. The researchers also monitored the rats’ brains to check the activity of the brain’s pleasure center.

Results showed that the pleasure center of the rats’ brain became more active as they eat the Oreo cookies. Interestingly, the rats also went for the creamy filling first before consuming the cookie, just as what most people do.

The researchers then compared the results of this study to that of another experiment involving rats exposed to saline solution and cocaine or morphine. While the rats spent the same amount of time in both the areas with Oreo and drugs, the comparison showed that eating Oreos activated more neurons in the brain’s pleasure center than getting exposed to drugs.

According to Professor Joseph Schroeder [SHREY-der], the study correlated well with the assumption that foods with high fat and sugar content are addictive. These results may thus explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite having the knowledge that they are bad for them.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         After reading the article, would you refrain from eating foods with high fat and sugar content like the Oreos? Why or Why not?
·         Do you think Oreo cookies can really be as addictive as cocaine or morphine? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What can be the disadvantages of being addicted to unhealthy food? Explain.
·         How can people avoid being addicted to something? Please explain briefly.


November 14, 2013