Supersizing the Last Supper

You know that famous painting – the one the Da Vinci code is all about… well, there have actually been a bunch of “last supper” paintings over the years – and it seems Jesus and the 12 (or 11 depending on what time of the evening the painting captures) are eating a little bit more each time.

That’s the subject of a new study of 52 of the paintings, conducted by a pair of American brothers.

Using computer-aided design technology, the pair scanned the main dish, bread and plates and calculated the size of portion relative to the size of the average head in the painting.

Over a thousand years, the size of the main dish progressively grew by 69.2%, plate size by 65.6%and bread size by 23.1%, they found.

The study, published in Britain’s International Journal of Obesity, is co-authored by Mr. Wansink’s brother, Craig, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia, and an ordained Presbyterian minister.