In the popular Scottish folk ballad “Annie Laurie,” the main character is ready to “lay me down and dee.” But according to a new study from the University of Glasgow, the entire country may be ready to do the same.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,500 participants and discovered that almost the entire adult population of Scotland (97.5 percent) were either cigarette smokers, heavy drinkers, physically inactive, overweight or living on a bad diet – all risk factors for serious disease.
In many cases, there were multiple risk factors. For instance, 86 percent of people surveyed had at least two risk factors; 55 percent had three or more and nearly 20 percent had four or all five risk factors.
That’s right, 20 percent of the people in Scotland do everything wrong -- they drink, smoke, eat unhealthy food, fail to get even 30 minutes of daily exercise and – surprise – are overweight.
Do the people of Scotland have a death wish?
“The Scottish population seems to be living dangerously,” the authors write in the paper announcing their findings, gleaned from a national survey. “Only 2.5 percent of the population was without any of the five behavioral risk factors.”
Unfortunately, there may be even more bad news for Bonnie Scotland.
While some information was validated (for instance, the participants’ weight and smoking habits), researchers say most of the behaviors were self-reported by people who “might tend to give answers that would convey more favorable behaviors.”
In other words, the real situation may actually be a wee bit worse.
Are you of Scottish ancestry? Can you attest to this? Or can you defend the Scottish lifestyle? Speak up in the comments.
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