The Last Supper. The final time that the apostles shared a meal with Jesus. They gathered together, listened to a sermon and really chowed down. At least if you believe more modern depictions. Because over the past thousand years, the portion size of the food shown in paintings of the Last Supper has grown larger. That finding, by researchers and brothers Brian and Craig Wansink, is dished up in the International Journal of Obesity. [See http://bit.ly/cJLS7I] Brian studies eating habits at Cornell, while Craig is a religion professor at Virginia Wesleyan. Which puts them at the head of the table for this research effort.
Da Vinci’s is the most well known Last Supper, but it’s joined by more than 50 other noteworthy interpretations produced in the last millennium. The guest list remains the same in the various paintings, and the people stay lithe. But the Wansinks measured the portion sizes in 52 Last Suppers, and found that the bread was 23 percent bigger in more modern paintings, while the entrees grew a whopping 70 percent. As measured against a constant: the apostles' heads. So the trend toward larger portions may have started centuries ago, culminating with the modern, supersized supper, last or otherwise.
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