A study published in 2013 by researchers at the University of Bordeaux (France) suggests that chocolate chip cookies may be just as addictive cocaine. The purpose of this study took a look at the “validity of the analogy between addictive drugs, like cocaine, and hyperpalatable foods, notably those high in added sugar.” Supposedly, the science behind this is that sugar induces the same mental pleasure as addictive drugs. Specifically, the study states:
“Available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs. Although this evidence is limited by the inherent difficulty of comparing different types of rewards and psychological experiences in humans, it is nevertheless supported by recent experimental research on sugar and sweet reward in laboratory rats. Overall, this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only substitute to addictive drugs, like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive. At the neurobiological level, the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward appear to be more robust than those of cocaine.”
By far the most interesting line in that statement is the claim that neurological pleasure from sugars and sweets are not only equal to addictive drugs, but possibly more rewarding to the consumer. That is truly mind-boggling. One theory suggests that this reflects “past selective evolutionary pressures for seeking and taking foods high in sugar and calories.” All very thought-provoking material, but maybe the answer as to why we crave sugars and sweets (such as cookies) is simple: They taste good!
Chocolate anything is hands down my favorite dessert/special treat of all time and that will never change. Personally, I tend to eat chocolate at a specific point in my day or week as a sort of celebration. It makes a normal day special by giving me something to look forward to, even when I ultimately end up finishing my treat within minutes. Maybe there’s a science behind it, maybe not. All that really matters is that I know I love chocolate and I’m sure you do too. Cheers!