Ultra thin models have been banned from Italy, Israel, Spain and now France under new legislation, with other countries likely to follow suit. Under the new health reforms, models are required to have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18. Failure could incur heavy fines or even a 6 month prison sentence. I applaud the fact that action has been taken. The trend of using these young frail girls was never an attractive site and one that was having an adverse effect on the impressionable and in societal norms.
However, I fear that this will replace one set of problems with another. The obsession is still with weight, and as such doesn’t address the immediate concerns. The view of health needs to be multifactorial rather than just simply weight management and appearance. Body composition needs also to be taken into account, as merely eating and looking slim are not sole markers of health. The ratio of body fat, muscle mass, bone density amongst others are other equally crucial markers that should be considered. The models are required to report their BMI with a medical certificate. Surely, in that medical certificate there could have been measures to attain a body composition rating as well?