Fashion Industry Rails at Blame for Disorders

The Birmingham Post (England), May 31, 2000 | Go to article overview

Fashion Industry Rails at Blame for Disorders


The fashion industry hit back yesterday at doctors who claimed that thin models featured on catwalks and in glossy magazines played a 'significant role' in causing eating disorders.

The report by the British Medical Association's Board of Science and Education said women portrayed in advertisements, fashion shoots and on television were 'abnormally thin'.

But a top magazine editor said blaming the media for the rise in rates of anorexia and bulimia was a 'gross over-simplification' of the issue.

And leading model agency Premier said women who bought the magazines and products advertised by models were as much to blame as the industry itself.

The BMA report called for the media to use 'more realistic' body shapes in a bid to reduce the rising numbers of girls and women suffering from eating disorders.

It found that models and actresses in the 1990s have ten to 15 per cent body fat - average body fat for the healthy woman is 22 to 26 per cent.

The report said: 'The degree of thinness exhibited by models chosen to promote products is both unachievable and also biologically inappropriate, and provides unhelpful role models for young women. …

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