Better Nutrition in the 1990s, Part 1

2018 marks Better Nutrition’s 80th year in print. Travel through time with us as we highlight popular diet and food trends by decade. In the spotlight this month: Low-fat diets.

Celebrating 80 years logo.

The 1990s were bookended by competing nutritional philosophies: First, everyone was on the low-fat bandwagon, but by the end of the decade, low-carb diets like the Atkins Diet were all the rage.

For low-fat proponents, it was fat that made you fat and caused disease. And doctors at the time agreed. People started to shun fat as though it were a poison—no fat was better than low-fat. Fat-free cheese, sour cream, cookies, milk, salad dressings, and similar foods crowded store shelves. Popcorn and bagels prevailed, and books on the low-fat lifestyle made it onto the bestseller list, including Butter Busters by Pam Mycoskie and Stop the Insanity! by Susan Powter, a popular TV personality who slimmed down on a low-fat diet.

Fat can still be hot button issue, but most experts now agree that clean, healthy fats are necessary for good health—and not something to fear.

9 Foods that were popular in the ’90s

9 Foods that were popular in the ’90s

  1. Hot Pockets
  2. Lunchables
  3. Chinese chicken salad
  4. SnackWell
  5. Pizza bagels
  6. Veggie burgers
  7. Molten chocolate cake
  8. Sun-dried tomatoes
  9. Butter Buds

Try our Easiest Ever Tofu Chili recipe.

The Story of Better Nutrition

Better Nutrition was founded by Jack Schwartz in 1938. Schwartz returned from the military with a business idea—start a magazine about nutrition. He loved helping friends and family find natural solutions to health problems, and he figured others would be interested in this too. He saw an opportunity to fill a niche and, at the same time, satisfy his passion for health and nutrition. And just like that, Better Nutrition magazine was born. Fall back in time with us this year as we revisit popular trends in nutrition, vitamins, recipes, and more with this limited-edition section. 

80 Years of Better Nutrition: