Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Academy of Eating Disorders Releases Guidelines for the Fashion Industry

Here are the AED proposed guidelines for the fashion industry. What do you think???

* Adoption of an age threshold requiring that models be at least 16years of age so as to reduce the pressure that adolescent girls feel toconform to the ultra-thin standard of female beauty.

* For women and men over the age of 18, adoption of a minimum bodymass index threshold of 18.5 kg/m2, (e.g., a female model who is 5' 9" [1.75m] must weigh more than 126 pounds [56.6 kg]) which recognizes that weightbelow this is considered underweight by the World Health Organization.

* For female and male models between the ages of 16 and 18, adoptionof a minimum body mass index for age and sex equivalent to the 10th BMIpercentile for age and sex (weight below this is considered underweight bythe Centers for Disease Control). For example, applying this criterion to a16 year old female model, the minimum required body mass index would be 17.4kg/m2, for a male model 17.7 kg/m2. A 16 year old female model who is 5' 9"[1.75 m] must weigh more than 118 pounds [53.3 kg].

* Adoption of an independent medical certification affirming thatstudents who are aspiring models do not suffer from an eating disorderand/or related medical complications (see below).

* Development of action steps to identify models in need of intervention and appropriate and sensitive procedures for detection andreferral.

* Discouragement of all non-healthy weight control behaviorsthroughout the industry (e.g., self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives,diuretics and diet pills). Increased educational initiatives aimed atstudent models and professional models, their agents and employers to reducethe multiple health risks of various unhealthy weight control behaviors.

* Provision of educational initiatives aimed at aspiring and workingstudent models, professional models, their agents and employers to raiseawareness of the multiple health risks of low weight and restrictednutritional intake. These health risks include irregularity or cessation ofmenses, bradycardia (low heart rate)/irregular heart beat, electrolyteimbalances, dizziness/fainting spells, sudden cardiac death and long termhealth complications including osteoporosis, depression, and reproductivecomplications.

* Increased communication with advertising agencies to encourage theuse of age-appropriate, realistic models in ad campaigns and reduction ofunrealistic computer enhancement in pre-teen and adolescent advertisingcampaigns.

* An overall ban of the use of photographic manipulation techniquesthat artificially slim images of fashion models throughout the entirefashion industry.

* Inclusion of models of varying weights and body types on both the catwalk and in fashion magazines so that these images - and the message that women and men of differing body types can look good in a variety of fashions- become part of our collective view of what constitutes beauty.

* Promotion of awareness in students, models, and the general publicabout advertising industry tactics, such as computer enhancement, used tofalsify the appearance and actual size of models used in advertising.

* Collaboration with politicians, stakeholders, and eating disorderorganizations to develop ethical self-regulatory codes for the fashionindustry.

* Collaboration with politicians, stakeholders, and eating disorderorganizations in widening the availability and affordability of effectiveeating disorders treatment, which must be made readily available to peoplein the fashion industry.

(reprinted with permission of Eric F. van Furth, Ph.D., Fellow of Academy of Eating Disorders)


eating disorder hope said...

This is an excellent step toward creating social change by the AED. We need the fashion industry to be responsible and encourage healthy bodies and weights in females. Sadly, much of our youth look up to models as mentors, so it would be helpful if they were healthy and not emaciated.

Anonymous said...

Great news! We need to prevent more models from dying! Being emaciated is not healthy, beautiful or sexy.