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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Croatians sit down to big breakfast
Eating their way into the Guinness Book of Records
The Croatians were marking World Food Day

Tens of thousands of Croatians sat down on Sunday for what is being described as the biggest breakfast in the world.

The event's organisers told Croatian television that a total of 42,120 people took part at more than 200 locations across the country, which would almost have doubled the existing world record.

Breakfast was served at exactly nine o'clock in the morning and participants had to eat the whole meal in order to be counted in the total.

The existing record was set in Taiwan on 13 October 2001, when 23,291 people tucked into 1,920 kilograms of bread and 5,670 litres of milk.

Sunday's Croatian attempt was the idea of the Andrija Stampar Public Health School in Zagreb, to mark World Food Day.

"We have broken the world record," said school director Stipe Oreskovic. "And I think that we have broken it by a large margin, at many locations in Croatia."

Standing room only

In order to conform to Guinness World Records' strict rules, all participants had to be seated.

If we had eaten like this our whole life, we would have no fat in our blood, and we would not be this plump
They sat in town squares, schools, pensioners' halls, army barracks, soup kitchens and hotels.

The event attracted so much support that not everyone could find a seat.

Even 20 minutes before the official start, the TV reported, one location was full.

"The children were looking forward to it so much," a would-be participant lamented. "They were overjoyed that they were going to have breakfast together.

"But nothing happened and we had to stay outside. Never mind, it was an adventure."

Healthy option

The TV reported that both young and old enjoyed the breakfast.

And the fact that porridge, yoghurt and apples are, according to experts, the ideal combination of healthy nourishment was not lost on some participants.

"I have to tell you honestly that I am 83 years old and I am having a breakfast like this for the first time in my life," one old lady said. "And this is a good thing."

"If we had eaten like this our whole life," one man said, "we would have no fat in our blood, and we would not be this plump."

"I came because I do not usually have breakfast, so I could show my patients that this is a good breakfast to have at least once in your life," said one doctor.

The breakfasters will find out on 21 October whether Croatia's attempt has been accepted by Guinness World Records.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Country profile: Croatia
01 Oct 03  |  Country profiles
Croatia's dance with the EU
26 Jul 03  |  From Our Own Correspondent
Eating in two countries at once
27 Jun 03  |  Europe

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