Israel wants to ban use of underweight models

Monday, June 14, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

In many ways, Israel is trying its hardest to be like the rest of the world. But when it comes the health of the nation's youth, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to reverse some harmful Western societal practices.

As part of that effort, the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Sunday voted in favor of a bill that would forbid advertising agencies from hiring and displaying underweight female models.

The bill, which was proposed jointly by Netanyahu's Likud Party and the opposition Kadima Party, states:

"The prevalence of eating disorders, including anorexia, has been on the rise in recent years in the Israeli society, particularly among young girls. Studies show that one of the reasons for eating disorders among teenage girls is the influence of the media and the advertising industry, which feature particularly thin women as role models, thus influencing teenagers' standards."

If passed into law, it would require models to provide medical documentation that their body mass index (BMI) is normal when seeking employment.

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