Art Analysis Reveals A Growth In Food Portions Over The Past 1,000 Years

Art Analysis Reveals A Growth In Food Portions Over The Past 1,000 Years

In an interesting study based on different paintings depicting the Last Supper, researchers show how plate size, and overeating have grown over the past 1000 years.

Naresh Kumar
  • 25 march 2010

A Cornell University professor claims that his analysis of more than 50 paintings of The Last Supper shows that the size of our meals has grown significantly in the past 1,000 years. The study, undertaken by Professor Brian Wansink of Cornell and Craig Wansink, a religious studies professor, analyzed paintings depicting the Last Supper from the book “Last Supper” by Phaidon Press and used computer aided design technology to determine the size of the meals and plates relative to the size of the disciples’ heads. The researchers believe that art is an imitation of life itself, and hence, the changes in the size of the meals would be reflected in the paintings too.

They found during the study that the size of the meals and plates have both increased (the main meal by 69 percent and bread size by 23 percent), leading them to deduce that the phenomenon of serving bigger portions on bigger plates, which tempts people to overeat, also occurred gradually over the same time period.

The research was published in The International Journal of Obesity.

[via Reuters]

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