Last Supper Paintings Depict Disciples' Growing Appetites

Monday, March 22, 2010 - 16:49 in Mathematics & Economics

In paintings of the last supper from last Millennium, the sizes of the portions and plates have gradually grown bigger and bigger, according to a forthcoming study in the International Journal of Obesity. The finding suggests that the phenomenon of serving bigger portions on bigger plates – which pushes people to overeat – has occurred gradually over the millennium. "We took the 52 most famous paintings of the Last Supper (from the book 'Last Supper,' 2000) and analyzed the size of the entrees, bread and plates, relative to the average size of the average head in the painting," said Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and of Applied Economics and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. read more

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