British women are more worried about their weight and ageing than about developing cancer, according to an online poll released Wednesday.
Stress was also of more concern than the potentially killer disease, which was cited as the main health worry by less than two percent of women, the poll of more than 1,000 women showed.
The findings give weight to critics who argue that media pressure to be young and slim is having a dangerous effect on women's overall health.
"Women are bombarded with images of apparently perfect bodies, when they don't even have enough time to sit down and catch their breath," said health expert Sarah Jarvis.
"Sadly, they may be so busy when they are young trying to live up to society's expectations that they can lay up trouble for their health for the future."
Some 25 percent of all women listed weight as their main concern, with the figure for women between the ages of 20 to 40 saying they worried about it more than anything else.
Ageing was the second biggest concern, followed by stress, ahead of cancer, heart disease and infertility. Some 20 percent of women in their 20s are most worried about stress.
One in 10 women in their 70s cite weight as their second biggest health worry, after ageing, the poll commissioned by publisher Dorling Kindersley showed.
No women mentioned AIDS as a health worry, according to the online survey carried out on the basis of 1,122 women aged from 20 to 70 by polling company The ID Factor last month.
"In 20 years in general practice, I have seen a huge change in the health concerns and the level of health awareness among women," said Jarvis, editor of a book on women's health by the publisher.
"In many respects we are more empowered, but it is inevitable that this degree of freedom to 'have it all' comes at a price," she said.