We examined the bone mineral densities (BMDs) of young adult men and analyzed the factors associated with BMD differences. Between 1993 and 2002, all male freshmen in the Wakayama Medical University, Japan were recruited into the present study, which included a self-administrated questionnaire survey, anthropometric measurements, and BMD measurements of the spine and hip. Of a total of 387 freshmen, 382 (98.7 %; mean age, 20.3 years; age range, 18-29 years) completed the study. The mean BMDs of the spine (L2-4) and femoral neck (FN) were 1.21 (standard deviation, 0.13) g/cm(2) and 1.12 (0.14) g/cm(2), respectively. The L2-4 BMDs were not associated with age, while FN BMDs were significantly inversely associated with age. The BMDs at L2-4 and FN were significantly associated with body mass index (BMI). After adjustment for age and BMI, multivariate regression analysis indicated that BMDs at L2-4 and FN were associated with current longer exercise duration (L2-4, p = 0.024; FN, p = 0.001), those at L2-4 with milk intake (p = 0.024), and those at FN with consuming breakfast (p = 0.004). Similarly, habits of consuming breakfast and exercising longer (on a weekly basis) during high school were linked with significantly higher L2-4 and FN BMDs. High-impact activities during high school significantly influenced the later BMDs. In conclusion, to maximize peak bone mass, consuming breakfast and completing a longer duration of stronger exercise in the late high school years for at least 10 h per week is recommended.