Israel Bans Models With Unhealthy BMIs from Working

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A Weighty issue: Israel bans models with unhealthy BMIs.

Whether it’s carding models or providing healthy snacks backstage at shows, designers and fashion organizations worldwide have been trying to promote the health of their models. But, in a new first in the industry, Israel is actually making theirs step on the scale.

The country has passed a law banning “malnourished” models from working. Before they can be photographed for an ad campaign, a model must produce a recent medical report that proves that their body mass index is above 18.5—the World Health Organization’s indicator of malnutrition. According to Time, a 5-foot-8 model must weigh no less than 119 pounds.

In addition, advertisers must disclose when an image has been Photoshopped to make models look thinner.

"All over the world, 20 years ago, we saw girls who were skinny, but today we see girls who are too, too skinny," Adi Barkan, an Israeli model agency owner who’s lobbied for the law, told CNN. "They are dying. The business only wants the skinny girls. So the girls, they stop eating. It's terrible. We must be more responsible and say to them that it doesn't have to be that way."