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The One '80s Snack You Should Never Eat Again, Says Science

It was so not cool—for your health, that is.
pile of unhealthy junk foods

If you remember the '80s like the decade was just yesterday, images of big hair, neon spandex, and music blasting from a boombox come to mind. And then there was the food, of course. The '80s were indeed a much simpler time, so chowing down on processed foods (hello Bagel Bites, colorful fruit snacks, and Toaster Strudels!) was the norm.

Now, though, you're likely much more aware that not all of those goodies were necessarily the healthiest. Duh!

But which '80s snack truly was the worst of the bunch? (Though if you're enjoying this trip down memory lane, go ahead and check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.) Well, it's none other than . . .

Oreo Big Stuf

oreo commercial
Jenna van Wyler/ YouTube

Oh, the memories are flooding back to you right now, aren't they? The jingle for these jumbo cookies was quite catchy, after all.

Back in 1984, Nabisco introduced Oreo Big Stuf, "the big Oreo-to-go." It promised to deliver "more chocolate and more creme" than the original Oreo. The cookies were individually wrapped, making them easy to grab on your way out the door.

But in between bites of the sweet treat, as you sat on your couch watching E.T. trying to phone home, you might not have realized just how big these cookies actually were. In fact, one cookie was three inches in diameter. Yes, as in the same size as a hockey puck! It clocked in at 316 calories and contained 13 grams of fat, too. For reference, one serving of regular Oreos (which is 3 cookies) comes in at 160 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Yikes!

Oreo Big Stuf had its moment in the sun for a few years until 1991, as that's when the snack was discontinued. Still to this day, it remains a mystery as to exactly why the popular cookies were suddenly wiped off shelves. It has been suspected, though, that the snack disappeared in part because of the USDA's 1980 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They called for reducing fat, sugar, and overall caloric intake in order to, you know, be healthy. Clearly, these cookies weren't helping anyone reach their health goals!

It's no secret that eating a high-calorie snack like an Oreo that's loaded up with fat and sugar and devoid of nutrients like fiber will result in you feeling hungry sooner rather than later. More importantly, eating fiber-rich foods, including snacks, can actually help a person live longer, as one study found. It's also been proven that those who eat ultra-processed foods ultimately eat more calories and gain more weight, compared to people who eat a minimally processed diet.

While Oreo Big Stuf cookies are not currently available, you can buy Oreo Mega Stuf. Two of these cookies come in at 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 17 grams of sugar. Not as intense as the legendary Big Stuf, but not much better than the '80s version. So not rad.

It's obvious Oreo Big Stuf cookies earn the title of the worst '80s snack. They're (sadly) better off staying a distant memory!

Looking for more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more