Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 21:07 UK

Model health check plan scrapped

Model at London Fashion Week
Under-16s are banned from London Fashion Week's catwalks

Models will not be forced to have health checks at London Fashion Week in September after other major cities refused to go along with the proposal.

The idea was recommended by the British Fashion Council after last year's size zero debate but it has already been ruled out in New York, Paris and Milan.

Officials in the three cities say forcing models to produce a medical certificate is too invasive.

Eating disorder charities are criticising the decision.

Worries about underweight models started a couple of years ago when two South American models died from eating disorders.

Eating disorders

In response, the British Fashion Council devised 14 proposals last September as part of its Model Health Inquiry.

Fashion is fantastic, it can be wonderful but there are some aspects of it that are still actually quite toxic
Susan Ringwood, Beating Eating Disorders

One of the key suggestions was to require health certificates from catwalk models.

But officials in other fashion capitals of New York, Paris and Milan did not buy into the plan.

They said the measures were unworkable and discriminated against models who did not appear on the catwalk.

Karen Diamond, director of Models One, the largest modelling agency in Europe, said most models are not unhealthy.

She said: "The idea of a model health certificate is not a bad idea in itself, but it's just impossible to police and to govern.

Decision criticised

Eating disorder charities say Britain's fashion leaders are guilty of a U-turn and young models could become victims of conditions like anorexia.

Susan Ringwood, from BEAT (Beating Eating Disorders), said: "Fashion is fantastic, it can be wonderful but there are some aspects of it that are still actually quite toxic."

Some of the inquiry's recommendations have been put in place, including a ban on under-16s from the catwalks at London Fashion Week and a bid to create a healthier backstage environments for models.




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