The law, approved by the Knesset in March, requires models to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18.5, considered to be the minimum for a healthy person.
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The increased prevalence of eating disorders in Israeli society, particularly among young girls, prompted Knesset Members Danny Danon of the Likud and Rachel Adatto, formerly of Kadima, to draft the law, which aims to stop the fashion industry from promoting unhealthy images of female bodies.
The Ministry of Health says about 125,000 women in Israel suffer from eating disorders. But many insiders say it’s a vastly underreported problem, putting the number closer to 500,000. The problem is provoking particular concern for its prevalence among young people.
"We know that every single year there are new 1,500 kids and teenagers who join the cycle of eating disorders," says MK Adatto. "Ten percent of the young generation suffers from eating disorders, and since this age group is 250,000 teenagers, 10% is a huge number."
Under the law, advertisers who digitally alter photographs to trim away unwanted weight from models must clearly mark the resulting images to indicate that they have been photoshopped.
The goal is for girls to know that the body they're seeing isn't real and can't be mimicked by dieting.
Watchdog groups, not the government, will be responsible for filing civil lawsuits against violators of the law and the initiative’s fortunes will be monitored throughout the global fashion industry to see if the catwalks of New York, Milan and other fashion capitals may adopt similar measures.