Roman Gladiators: Diet Made Them Fat

May 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm 4 comments

An interesting article in News in Science, Ancient Worlds – Roman Gladiators Were Fat Vegetarians – gives insight that their diet, heavy with carbohydrate, made them fat.

“Tests performed on bits of bone taken from the skeletons of some 70 gladiators buried at Ephesus seem to prove that they ate mainly barley, beans and dried fruit,” said Dr Karl Grossschmidt, who took part in the study by the Austrian Archaeological Institute “This diet, which has been mentioned in the oral history, is rather sad but it gave the gladiators a lot of strength even if it made them fat,” said Grossschmidt who is a member of the University of Vienna’s Institute of Histology and Embryology.” [emphasis mine]

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Diet  |  May 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    People who have a family history of diabetes as well as diabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Also referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein the body, over time, becomes resistant to insulin.
    http://diets-diabetes.blogspot.com

  • 2. simon  |  May 16, 2008 at 5:19 am

    They weren’t “fat” exactly, the gladiators needed a layer of fat over the muscles as protection from blows and cuts. Looking “ripped” was not functional.

  • 3. Mel  |  May 19, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    The ancient world’s version of sumo wrestlers?

  • 4. Spider63  |  May 22, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    The gladiators in the movies all like beef and beer!

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