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Israel Bans Skinny Models in Advertisements, BMI Less Than 18.5 Illigal

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The new Israeli law prevents skinny fashion models that look too thin, banning models with a body mass index (BMI) that is less than 18.5 from appearing on advertisements.

The law requires fashion brands and  media publications to inform consumers if they have manipulated images of the models to make them thinner. According to Wall Street Journal, supporters of the measure "hoped it would encourage the use of more healthful models in local advertising." Steven Kolb, Chief executive of the  the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) said there are no plans to press for a U.S. law banning models under a certain weight or BMI, adding "We create awareness and education." 

Adi Barkan fashion photographer, and  model agent started the campign to initiate healthy model making BMI into law. The inititive started when close friend of Barkan, model Hila Elmaliah who was suffering from anorexia collapsed and died at age 34. The model weighed just 60 pounds according to ABC.

He told Womens Wear Daily in 2007: "The problem is with society, and the low self-esteem of these girls," said Barkan, adding "We need to put this out there, to make it a societal norm in Israel and the rest of the world. People need to see these anorexic bodies and move their butts and do something about this."

His campaign to create a law against fashion industry using models that are too thin, passed the Israeli knesset. He worked closely with member Inbal Gavriely. Israeli parliament passed the measure, becoming one of the first country to pass this kind of measure. Any agency that breaks the law will be fined and will be monitored by Israeli Health Ministry.

Israel law requires fashion industry "to use healthy-looking models in advertisements.

Currently, Vogue released a guidelines for its "Health initiative," encouraging promotion of healthy body image. 

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