From the file of studies that only seem like parody: Last week at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, researchers disclosed that rats prefer sugar to cocaine. When kept in a cage equipped with two levers, one offering sweetened water and the other dispensing an intravenous dose of cocaine, after 15 days 40 of the 43 rats opted for sugar, a white powdery drug, over cocaine, a white powdery drug. And if sugar is right for rats, it might be right for you. Ask your doctor about sweetened water today!

It’s a finding that, as the Los Angeles Times writes, “explains your doughnut addiction.” The scientists suggest that sugar’s chemical power—too much sugar might produce more dopamine, which might lead to more sugar cravings, and so on—could help explain the rapid rise in obesity rates, especially in our cheap-sugar world. A majority of even cocaine-addicted rats, tested in a different trial, switched to sugar water after 10 days. (Yes: cocaine-addicted rats.)

See more articles