Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lent Blog 19: Obesity and the Last Supper

In a story that would have looked good for April 1, Cornell University reports that depictions of the Last Supper have had increasingly large food portions over time. In a, perhaps predictable, "life imitating art" story, they have studied 52 paintings and detect a significant increase in portion size over time.

The USA Today coverage notes the Gospels "mention only bread and wine, but many of the paintings have other foods, such as fish, lamb, pork and even eel, says Craig Wansink." Well, if it was Passover, then there would be quite a lot of other stuff on the table - bread and wine alone don't make a meal...

I think it was John Bell of the Iona Community who noted that Jesus is often depicted as thin, but he must have been well-built, as he was always at meals and parties.

Not sure any of that gets us anywhere with contemporary obesity problems.
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