Japan Data

One in Four Young Japanese Too Busy for Breakfast

Society Lifestyle

More and more young Japanese are opting out of one of the most important meals of the day.

Skipping breakfast is becoming more common in Japan. A fiscal 2018 white paper on food and nutrition education published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries found that the number of young people in their twenties and thirties who say they seldom eat breakfast has gone up to 17.9%, a 3.1-point increase over the preceding fiscal year. Add to this the 9% who say they only eat breakfast two or three times a week, and this means just over one in four young Japanese people often skip breakfast, depriving themselves of the nutrition they need to power their start to the day.

A similar increase was found among younger cohorts with a total of 5.5% of sixth graders and 8.0% of third-year junior high school students saying they never or seldom eat breakfast, increases of 0.9 points and 1.2 points, respectively, over the preceding fiscal year.

In past surveys, the reasons given for skipping breakfast were “no time to eat” and “not hungry,” for 40% each of six graders and third-year junior high students. It was also found that those with irregular bedtimes were more likely to skip breakfast.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries states that a nutritious diet from childhood fosters the healthy development of both mind and body and is the foundation for cultivating a generous and strong character. It recommends eating breakfast every day.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

education children nutrition