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War Against Anorexia In Israel

We have to admit- we love the bold statement, “Strong is the new skinny.” Here at Women’s Running, we pride ourselves on encouraging women to strive for healthiness versus obsessing over a number on the scale.

It is for this very reason that a recently enacted law in Israel caught our eyes. The Knesset (the government of Israel) made a bold move in the war against anorexia by requiring models who appear in advertisements to have a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or higher. BMI is a calculated using a person’s height and weight to determine body fat. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a BMI score of 18.4 or lower is considered “underweight.” Additionally, any time photo editing software is used to make a model appear slimmer, the ad must clearly state the usage. Lawmakers hope these two mandates will send the message that while it is OK to be thin, it is not OK to be dangerously skinny. One of the bills sponsors, Danny Danon, says,”This law shatters the ideal of anorexic beauty, which has served as a model for the country’s young people who have tried to imitate this impossible illusion and have suffered from eating disorders as a result.” Danon went on to say he has been contacted by members of the US Congress, who are interested in pursuing a similar bill in the United States.

Do you think a bill like the one recently passed in Israel would help eradicate anorexia and other eating disorders?