From an LA Times article:
In a bid to uncover the roots of super-sized American fare, a pair of sibling scholars has turned to an unusual source: 52 artists’ renderings of the New Testament’s Last Supper.
Using the size of the diners’ heads as a basis for comparison, the Wansinks used computers to compare the sizes of the plates in front of the apostles, the food servings on those plates and the bread on the table.
Over the course of the millennium, the Wansinks found that the entrees depicted on the plates laid before Jesus’ followers grew by about 70%, and the bread by 23%.
As entree portions rose, so too did the size of the plates — by 65.6%.
A predictable result to a neat approach for a study, but it’s my terrible fear that all this proves is the ongoing shrinking of the human head.
I’ve always found the concept of the last supper an interesting choice as the last major signpost before Jesus’ imprisonment and death – that it’s not some burning bush or tripped-out series of doomsday prophecies, just a simple round of mastication.