It has been a hangover staple for generations, but younger Scots are turning their back on the traditional fry-up with a poll finding that a nearly half of 18 to 30-year-olds say it reminds them of “men in vests hanging around in transport cafes”.

A nationwide study reveals as many as 17 per cent of under 30s in Scotland have never eaten a full Scottish breakfast, with healthier options such as avocado, salmon and oatmeal pancakes now more popular.

The full “Scottish” breakfast – or its equivalents in England, Wales and Ireland – dates back to the mid-19th century, when the Victorians made it the most important meal of the day and used it as an opportunity to display their wealth and hospitality.

However, growing healthconsciousness among millennials and a surge in veganism and vegetarian diets among younger people in Scotland have been blamed for them turning their back on the meat and cholesterol-packed dish.

Ellie Glason, of polling firm Ginger Research, which commissioned the study, said: “The results of our nationwide breakfast research suggest the full Scottish could become a thing of the past, due to the health concerns of younger people.

“In fact, according to the results, avocado, scrambled eggs, salmon and oatmeal pancakes have replaced the humble fry-up in the nation’s hearts.

“The study found that over half of young adults believe Scots are becoming more health conscious and shunning traditional meals like fried breakfasts and pie and chips.”

Exactly what a full Scottish consists of might vary between establishments, but it typically includes poached or fried eggs, back bacon, link or lorne “square” sausage, black pudding, and a fried potato scone.

There might also be white “fruit” pudding, haggis, mushrooms and a grilled tomato.

However, nearly one-quarter (23%) of 18 to 30-year-olds said they were turned off the dish because they associate it with heart attacks.

The same proportion felt that the full Scottish was synonymous with obesity. When asked to rate how healthy fry-ups are on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being very unhealthy and zero being extremely healthy, the average 18 to 30-year-old Scot rated it a seven.

A resounding 22% of younger Scots say the noble black pudding is “the single most unappealing thing” about a traditional fry-up.

Nearly one-quarter (24%) believe it is too greasy, and more than four in 10 (42%) said it reminded them of men in vests hanging around in transport cafes. For one-third it conjures up stereotypical images of Brits abroad, and 29% of the 2,000 18 to 30-year-olds polled across Britain in the online survey – including 200 Scots – admit that they cringe when they see UK tourists abroad tucking into a cooked breakfast.

Other aspects which put young Scots off are greasy bacon (24%), lukewarm baked beans (8%) and processed sausages (6%). Six in 10 young Scots would rather tuck into smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, smashed avocado on toast and oatmeal pancakes for breakfast, than brave a full Scottish.

And one in 20 (5%) would even rather eat a bowl of muesli. The sentiments are a far cry from some of the more outlandish attempts to sell the traditional breakfast as a gut-busting challenge.

In 2013, Norfolk greasy spoon cafe Jesters Diner faced a backlash from obesity campaigners when they launched their “Kidz breakfast”, a feast which garnered its name because it weighed as much as a small child.

The 6,000-calorie platter comprised of 12 rashers of bacon, 12 sausages, six eggs, four black pudding slices, four slices of bread and butter, four slices of toast, four slices of fried bread, two hash browns, an eight-egg cheese and potato omelette, saute potatoes, mushrooms, beans, and tomatoes.

At the time it was the largest breakfast available in Britain, with diners challenged that, if they could polish it off, they would not have to pay for it. However, obesity campaigners said the promotion was “profoundly wrong”, with HeartCare Cardiac Support Group saying “it would absolutely ruin your heart”.

The decline in the fry-up might also have to do with changing lifestyles for younger Scots, who are consuming far less alcohol than previous generations. Nearly half of 15-year-olds reported drinking once a week in 2002, compared to just 11% of girls and 14% of boys by 2014.