Professor Brian Wansink, who, with his brother Craig, led the research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, said: "The last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food...."Never eat anything larger than your disciple's head.
His team used computer-aided design technology to scan and calculate the relative measurements of items in the paintings, regardless of their orientation.
These included works by El Greco, Leonardo Da Vinci, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Rubens.
Based on the assumption that the width of an average loaf of bread from the time should be twice that of the average disciple's head, the researchers plotted the size of the Passover evening dishes.
The main meals grew 69% and plate size 66% between the oldest (carried out in 1000AD) and most recent (1700s) paintings. Bread size grew by about 23%.Take, eat, this is my supersized body....
The sharpest increases were seen in paintings completed after 1500 and up to 1900AD.
Craig Wansink, who is a professor of religious studies, says the changes in portion sizes is probably a reflection of culture rather than theology.
"There is no religious reason why the meals got bigger. It may be that meals really did grow, or that people just became more interested in food."