Painters have been piling increasingly generous portions on the plates of Christ and the apostles over the centuries, according to new research. The size of the main dish grew 70% and the size of the plates grew 66% between the years 1000 and 2000, researchers who analyzed dozens of depictions of the Last Supper wrote in the International Journal of Obesity.
"I think people assume that increased serving sizes, or 'portion distortion,' is a recent phenomenon," the lead researcher told the Los Angeles Times. "But this research indicates that it's a general trend for at least the last millennium." Early depictions showed small servings of bread and wine only, he notes, but the menu expanded over the years to include fish, lamb, and sometimes even pork.
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