Breakfast has been found Not Guilty. A mock trial organised by the Breakfast is Best campaign, backed by the EMHF, has brought together opinion formers to discuss whether the importance of breakfast to public health is being communicated effectively.
Supported by the EU’s health directorate, Breakfast Is Best hosted this unique EU health policy debate prior to the ‘Plenary of the EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health’ last month. It took the form of a real trial with MEP and EMHF board member John Bowis as the judge and EMHF president Dr Ian Banks as the inquisitor.
Expert witnesses included Karin Hådell (European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians), Hugo Ramon (European Association of Teachers) and Dr Vincenzo Costigliola (European Medical Association), with the invited guests playing the crucial role of the jury.
Following a primary vote, which found nearly half the jury finding breakfast guilty of negligence, the panel of expert witnesses representing the four different pillars of the ‘Breakfast is Best’ campaign (health & nutrition, obesity, cognition and physical activity) were cross-examined by Ian Banks.
John Bowis said: ‘there was absolutely no foundation to the charge of negligence. The expert testimony made it clear that breakfast is central to the health and welfare of European citizens.’
Their testimonies fuelled lively discussions on each of the tables. After the final vote, breakfast was found Not Guilty of Negligence.
The right breakfast can improve general heart health, help reduce obesity, increase in cognitive abilities and improve safety at the workplace. However, the trial demonstrated that more substantive actions need to be implemented to promote the important benefits of breakfast and to ensure that breakfast is treated as a serious public policy issue.
The photo of BIB members and trial particpants shows from left to right: Sylvie Aitken (Aspect), Hugo Ramon (AEDE), Erick Savoye (EMHF), Dr Vincenzo Costigliola (EMA), MEP John Bowis, Dr Ian Banks (EMHF), Brenda O’Brien (OSHA), Karin Hådell (EFAD), Julia Hauk (CEEREAL), Marie-Josée Mozin (CEDE).