London: Despite their healthy weight, 17 percent of women in a survey described themselves as "fat" - with almost as many saying they felt "down" when they looked in the mirror.
Only one out of 17 such women actually considered herself "slim".
To her husband and her friends, a woman looks happy, slender and confident, in her size 12 jeans. But when the same woman looks in the mirror, the picture is distorted.
The study, based on more than 2,200 people by Slimming World, provides a disturbing insight into female self esteem, the Telegraph reports.
Slimming World MD Caryl Richards said the statistics showed that for women, self-confidence and weight were closely connected.
Volunteers were asked to look at themselves in the mirror and select from 12 adjectives to describe how they felt or how they looked.
Among women who had the right weight for their height, just 13 percent said they felt happy when they saw their reflection and only six percent thought they were slim.
The study also involved men, who were far less likely to believe that they weighed too much when they did not.
Just six percent of men with a healthy body mass index (BMI) - the ratio of height to weight - described themselves as fat.
Men were most likely to blame alcohol for their paunch, while for women, chocolate was seen as the biggest diet downfall, the survey said.