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Israel bans too-skinny models

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In Israel, a new law is underway to help tackle eating disorders.

Specifically, it's banning underweight models from the runway.

Report card required

Under the new law, models in both local advertisements or runway shows must produce a medical report--that can't be older than 90 days--which states that they aren't malnourished according to World Health Organization standards.

According to the new standards--which are based on weight, height and BMI--a 5'8" female model, for instance, can't weight less than 119 pounds.

Not only that, but the law also mandates that publications disclose when they run edited or altered images of models if this editing makes them appear more thin than they actually are.

Hot button issue

The role that models play in the creation of public body image issues has been a hot topic in recent years, especially following the deaths of too-thin models in several countries. Spain and Italy have both tried to change the industry for the better by pushing for more realistic-looking women in ad campaigns and on the runway.

But Steven Kolb, chief executive of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, says that the U.S. tries to create healthy standards for models, and that there aren't any plans to change U.S. laws about models' weight requirements.

"We never had an approach of mandate or enforce," he said. "We create awareness and education."

It appears that the inability to determine general standards for a "healthy weight" has prevented countries like Spain and Italy from passing similar laws.

Source: Wall Street Journal