The Last Supper Shows Dinner Portion Increases

March 23rd, 2010 - 11:37 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Mar 23 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Apparently, McDonald’s and Burger King are not the only ones who are “supersizing” food portions. Some experts are saying that the paintings that have been done over time depicting “The Last Supper” may have served as an early warning sign that bigger appetites were on the way. Over the last one thousand years, the pictures of the famous last meal of Christ have shown increasingly larger portions, as well as larger dinner plates.

What this tells us is that the portion sizes of people’s meals have been steadily increasing over time and this is being depicted in the paintings. This phenomenon, of course, symbolizes a habit of overeating, as does the increasing portions at fast food restaurants.

Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing and applied economics and director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, said in a university news release. “We took the 52 most famous paintings of ‘The Last Supper’ and analyzed the size of the entrees, bread and plates, relative to the average size of the average head in the painting.”

According to reports on the findings of the studies, reported in the April issue of the “International Journal of Obesity”, the portion sizes as well as the plate sizes increased by two-thirds. The bread also grew in size, by 23 percent.

“The last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food,” said Wansink, author of a book titled “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.”

“We think that, as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner,” he said.

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