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France aims to criminalise advertising with anorexic models

17 March 2015, 16:47

Paris - France's health minister says she supports plans to criminalise the use of advertising with anorexic models in France.

The measure would put France, a world capital of fashion, with countries like Israel and Spain that are cracking down on the glorification of dangerously thin models.

Socialist lawmaker Olivier Veran, who is also a doctor, wants to add language to an upcoming health bill to make it illegal to employ models deemed to have an eating disorder. Modelling agencies would have to produce a medical report showing that their models have maintained a healthy mass-to-height ratio.

Also read: France increases its efforts in the fight against Boko Haram

A second change in the law would make it a crime to glorify "excessive thinness", which would target those who run pro-anorexia websites, punishable by up to one year in prison and €10 000 in fines.

Veran was expected to propose the amendments later on Monday, part of a health reform bill to be presented in parliament's lower house on 31 March. A previous draft bill on the same issue never got to a vote by parliament in 2008.

Up to an estimated 40 000 people suffer from anorexia in France, 90% of them women, according to the health ministry.

In 2007, Spain banned models from the catwalks whose body mass-to-height ratio was below 18. In Israel, a law in 2013 banned underweight models.

- AP

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