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March 24th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Meals get bigger in 52 'Last Supper' works

(CNN) – Has the meal in the "Last Supper" reached biblical proportions?

Two brothers, both college professors, think so. Using computer technology they compared the size of Jesus and his disciples to the size of their food.

And what they found is that in more than 50 of the paintings over the last 1,000 years the food got bigger and bigger with the main dish growing by 70-percent.

The study was published in April's International Journal of Obesity. Craig Wansink, the co-author of the study and a professor of religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College, joined us on Wednesday's American Morning.

Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Michael Both

    What surprises me is that a couple of people wasted their time performing this analysis. The size of portions are a product of the compostion and the artist's perception and nothing more. A completely pointless exercise.

    March 29, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  2. mike

    no point in arguing health care when its concerning art,,anyone against it will be slammed..

    March 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  3. just some guy

    wow i thought this was about the last supper. hmm seems to be alot of morons spewing crap the rep did this the dem did that not everything needs to be about your polotical views quit cryin if you dont like it and vote. until then lets get back to the topic...the prospective of painting has changed over the last 1000 years.

    March 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  4. brad1001

    I was of the idea that this was a story about the size of the "Last Supper" . These college eucators must have a great deal of spare time on their hands is all that I can add. I'll leave my political rants for a suitable column.

    March 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Rod in Texas

    It must be getting hard to find a story if this is the best CNN can come up with.

    March 27, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  6. Rag Mop

    The painter (or painters) of the last supper knew nothing about Jewish Passover. During Passover no bread is allowed, if it was a real dipiction of a Passover Meal (Seder) there would have been matzo (unleavened bread), wine & only kosher foods.

    March 27, 2010 at 3:56 am |
  7. Mike

    What in the world do comments about Republcans and the threats against lawmakers and so forth have to do with THIS article? Do you not read the articles before making your discnnected and dismal commets? Or is it that you are so busy maing sure the world gets to read your les than eloqent prose that you cant be bothered with actually reading and understanding the article and respnding appropriately.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  8. Kate

    I would just like to point out that not all fiscally conservative people are Republicans, and not all Republicans are these crazy nutso violent people. Generalizations are not useful, there are wackos on all sides.

    I voted for Obama. I despise this healthcare reform. I believe in peacefully disagreeing with it, and hope there will be a more fiscally conservative politician for whom I can vote, no matter the party.

    Not everyone sticks to the party line on every issue–I take every issue separately as do many people who disagree with the HC reform. I agree with many other things Obama is doing on the social/international front. I just think he is entirely fiscally misguided.

    But lumping everyone who opposes it into the "crazy violent" camp is just wrong.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  9. duvallone

    I am sure my taxes and the increased taxes I will have to pay for this healthcare takeover will pay for several more indigent or irresponsible individuals who don't care to buy their own insurance. But the small companies, who will now stay small (under 50), and the large, like Caterpillar (who estimates it will have to pay $100 million in the first year) and Starbucks (who estimates it will pay $300 million) are going to be looking for a better tax haven to which to relocate, leaving this country bereft of its corporations, and therefore its jobs. No forward thinking by anyone on this issue. Just more deficit spending.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  10. Mark C. Potts

    This is news? I discover Jack the Ripper with all the evidence and nobody listens. Sadly he wasn't obese.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  11. paul

    Why are President O'bama's comments made in Iowa directed at Republicans ok and Sarah Palins comments considered inciting violence?

    March 26, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  12. mike

    Did both parties lawmakers believe that congress is just about kickbacks free gifts and an palacial health plan? When you choose to serve the public you must even serve the morons.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  13. paul

    saw a union add this morning ripping into the evil insurance companies.

    did i miss something in all the in depth reporting on the bill? I don't recall that a limit on premiums was included.

    in order to pay for some the required coverages and free "services" premiums will go up.

    I do have issues with individuals with no backround in an industry making up rules for or taking over an industry

    March 26, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  14. Jim Bob

    It has nothing to do with portion size. It's because over the years as the Church gained power, its 'main event' the Eucharist was more emphasized than Jesus's actual teaching.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  15. Bryce

    Republican and affiliated political proponants have demonstrated they don't respect the very democratic, American ideals, beliefs, and resulting behaviors that separate, differentiate us from uncivilized peoples and cultures. Like little children who have been deprived of their ball in play, they run to their parents, scream and yell and betray their place in our world.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  16. Kay

    I don't know how the topic went from art to healthcare reform but I am all for healthcare as long as it doesn't include paying for other people's abortions. I want to help all women and children not HARM women and children. That is the problem with the current healthcare reform. Abortion should NOT be included.

    March 25, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  17. margaret taylor

    My mother died in 1997, she committed an unpardonable sin, she got cancer without insurance. I bought insurance for my perfectly healthy 14 yr old son just because he played football. It cost me $300/mo. After three months the cost jumped to $450/mo and we had never used the coverage, not even for a check-up. When I questioned the company they said..."Oh, it's just time for a rate hike!" Well, it's just time we govern the insurance companies.

    March 25, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  18. mac bramley

    Legalizing "pot" is no more than repealing the Volstead Act. Americans will have their vices satisfied no matter what the laws say. So stop paying for meaningless law enforcement, stop providing the criminal element with a designated marketable commodity and stop subsidizing the use of far more damaging agents, alcohol and tobacco, resulting in a greater pressure on our already exorbitant health care system.
    There is a catch, however. California, et. al., plans to reap the benefits of taxing pot like cigarettes. But it is relatively easy to grow cannabis in your back yard unlike tobacco. How will "growing" be controlled and enforced. And is California and the country psychologically ready for a burgeoning pot use generated by "household" gardens of grass?

    March 25, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  19. Ron

    The conservatives in this country are showing the world what immature sheep that they are with the actions we are seeing from them now. I am not amazed because the ring leader (Rush Limbuaugh) called the dem's "bastards" , and said "they must be elliminated". I think Rush should be arrested for saying this as I know anyone else would be. Is this not insighting a riot?

    March 25, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  20. Luther Schlegel

    I am really SORRY for those legislators who have been threatened. They should be that mayor in Mexico who has threatened with his life and today is his last day. He has the SOUL and or the GUTS of a real leader. These legislators who probably made statements that gets the radicals upset and potentially dangerous. They hide behind their political views and government protection. You, CNN should investigate PELOSI EARMAKS in TOTAL and their EARMARKS and then you would be investigating rather than reporting on the news. i am recovering from surgery and have all day to follow the news. START INVESTIGATING and STOP REPORTING and then I would PRAISE CNN.

    March 25, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  21. nancy

    Legalize marijuana! STOP the 18 million plus death clock in Mexico from ticking! If you make it legal, the criminals will go a matter of natural consequence! They will stop shooting each other. Why should the U.S. taxpayers send billions to Mexico to "fight a drug war"? Money that goes to the benefit of the Drug Lords and Politicians.... and who can really tell the difference between the two anyway! Time for this country to WAKE UP!

    March 25, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  22. Al

    Did anyone also consider that the realism in painting has changed dramatically over the last 1000 years? 1000 years ago no artist attempted to make the painting realistic and certainly didn't work to make things like the food on the table an accurate depiction.

    That has changed over the past 1000 years and certainly accounts for a good part of the change noted. I think this is a care of finding what you want to finds

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  23. Trudy Johnson

    What do you think, there is some subliminal conspiracy out there to make us all obese? Clearly true obesity as it is measured in medical science, is an addiction issue, like smoking, drinking alcohol, etc., it all has to do with
    the part of the brain called the Amygdala. If we can find out why and how to fix it, many lives will be saved and the quality of life for millions will improve.

    March 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  24. Elizabeth

    It's despicable & deplorable the way the Republican Congressmen have been behaving toward the Health Reform Bill. I am appalled that Boehner became so violent in speaking out against the bill, but when it came time to speak out against the threats and actions against those who voted for the bill, he was anything but sincere.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm |