Fashion Urged to Model Health

Inquiry recommends random drug tests, no under-16s on runway
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2007 7:20 PM CDT
Models parade down the runway at the finale of the Jennifer Lopez Justsweet 2008 spring/summer collection during Fashion Week, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Vulnerable young models should be subject to mandatory health checks and backstage drug testing, a British Fashion Council study said today, citing "startling" evidence  of their lack of education about health problems and eating disorders. Models would have to provide a signed health certificate from a doctor experienced in recognizing eating disorders before performing, the Guardian reports.

The study eschewed Body Mass Index measurements, calling it a "blunt instrument" that could encourage pre-show binging, followed by excessive dieting. It also recommended a ban on models under the age of 16. Estimates say up to 40% of models suffer from eating disorders. "The facts of the modeling industry are not so glamorous," the head of the study says.