PARENTS

Teens Who Skip Breakfast More Likely To Have Sex Earlier

01/02/2010 14:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

You know that business about breakfast being the most important meal of the day? You probably heard it as a child and are now repeating it to your own child. Good for you! Breakfast is important . Studies show that kids who skip the morning meal are more likely to be tardy and miss more days of school than their breakfast-eating peers. And teens who eat breakfast maintain a healthier body mass index and tend to be more active than kids who don't.

But if all that that doesn't persuade you to make sure your kids eat before heading out the door each morning, maybe this will: A new study finds that teens who don't eat breakfast tend to have sex at an earlier age than kids who do.

The study, conducted by the Japan Family Planning Association, examined the lifestyle habits of about 1,500 males and females aged 16 to 49. They found that those who regularly ate breakfast as teens were an average of 19.4 years old before they had sex for the first time. Those who didn't eat breakfast had sex almost two years earlier - at an average age of 17.5 years old."The fact that people can't eat breakfast may show something about their family environment," says Kunio Kitamura, executive director of the Association. "Before blaming individuals for having sex at an early age, it may be necessary to look into the sort of homes they are from."In other words, it isn't the breakfast itself that makes teens wait to have sex, but the fact that the child who is fed each morning is most likely benefiting from better all-around parenting than the child who isn't.

There is nothing really earth-shattering in that revelation but it does raise a question in my mind. Does just feeding the kid count or do you actually have to sit down and eat breakfast together? Apparently that depends on how much your teen likes you. That same study found that teens who said their mothers were annoying were also more likely to have sex at an earlier age. Those teens reported having sex at an average age of 16 -- a full three years earlier than those with non-annoying moms!

So, here's the bottom line: If you want to encourage chastity in your teens, insist that they eat a good breakfast each and every morning. And try not to be annoying about it.

Does your family sit down together for breakfast? Or is it more of a grab-and-go situation?

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