The Largest Last Supper: Depictions of Food Portions and Plate Size Increased Over the Millennium
International Journal of Obesity 34.5 (2010): 943-944
2 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014
Date Written: January 13, 2010
Portion sizes of foods have been noticably increasing in recent years, but when did this trend begin? If art imitates life and if food portions have been generally increasing with time, we might expect to see this have been increasing over a longer period of time, this might be reflected in paintings that depict food. Perhaps the most commonly painted meal has been that of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper, chronicled in the New Testament of the Bible. A CAD-CAM analysis of the relative size of food in 52 representative paintings of the Last Supper showed that the relative sizes of the main dish (entree) (r¼0.52, P¼0.002), bread (r¼0.30, P¼0.04), and plates (r¼0.46, P¼0.02) have linearly increased over the past millennium.
Keywords: portion size; art; plate size; calories; history; content analysis
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