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March 20, 2012 1:01 pm

Israeli Law Bans Underweight Models to Curb Eating Disorders

avatar by Deby Medrez Pier

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A Model at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. Photo: David Shankbone.

In 2006 Spanish modeling agencies began turning down underweight models due to the influence of rail-thin models, which were leading to eating disorders in young girls and women all over the world.

On Monday, Israel passed a new law which banned the appearance of overly thin models from local advertising. The legislation obligates models to present a current medical report stating that they are not malnourished according the standards set forth by the World Health Organization, which is a body mass index no lower than 18.5.

Media imaging is increasingly generating sick and distorted body images that shape the unhealthy eating habits of women and men across the globe and studies have shown that Israeli girls (and boys) are more likely to think they’re overweight than much of the rest of the world.

The government is hoping that this new law will bring healthy and good looking models to advertisements in order to decrease the popularity of eating disorder.

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  • Indeed, If the model is underweight she will no longer serve in the fashion industry in Israel. Israel cares more about curbing the eating disorders than firing a small percentage of models from their jobs.

  • Michael McLaughlin

    This is a good development, but here’s a word from someone who’s naturally thin:

  • Bixch

    To the models that claim they are “naturally” under the BMI and will be unjustly fired, we say, produce the medical report stating that you are “healthy” according to WHO standards, and there should not be a problem. What is the worst case for these models? They’ll need to gain a few pounds? What a faux pas!