Vegetarian Gladiators: The Overweight Warriors of Ancient Rome

Roman gladiators, contrary to popular belief, were not heavily muscular but rather carried excess weight. Their diets were predominantly plant-based, much like the majority of the Roman population. Meat was considered a luxury item and not a dietary staple.

Gladiators were often referred to as “hordearii,” or barley men, due to their high-carbohydrate diet, which consisted of grains, legumes, and vegetables. This diet provided them with the necessary energy for their rigorous training and battles while the extra body fat offered some protection against cuts and wounds. Additionally, they consumed a calcium-rich drink made from ashes to fortify their bones and reduce the risk of fractures during combat.

Sugar snacks

According to a survey conducted by Main Street Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, children in Pennsylvania consume the most sugar snacks per week on average, with a reported 22.862. Utah has the lowest average, at 4.830. This survey, which used a Google Forms questionnaire, was completed by 1,135 parents of children aged 1-17 across the United States. It asked about the frequency of sugar snack consumption, including cookies, candy, donuts, pastries, ice cream, ice pops, cake, pie, and sugary beverages such as fruit juice, chocolate milk, soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks. The results for each state are based on the responses of at least 20 parents.