by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York
Grist points us to a compelling study published by the International Journal of Obesity, which reveals that the portions on the plates of Jesus' disciples in depictions of The Last Supper have "increased dramatically" over the last 1,000 years. Looking at 52 different paintings produced over the time period, it was discovered that entres grew in size by 70%, the bread by 30%, and that even the plates grew 66%. So what are the implications of having better-fed disciples over the years? A fatter Judas? Peter with adult onset diabetes? No, not exactly--but it turns out that the trend reveals some important culinary clues to the eating trends of the last millennium.
You see, conventional wisdom posits that the skyrocketing size of food portions is an unwelcome trend that took root over the last couple decades. And to be sure, portion sizes have grown significantly since the 1970s in the United States--but it turns out there's a far longer timeline involved.
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