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Last Updated: Saturday December 23 2006 09:59 GMT

Too-skinny models banned in Italy

On the catwalk

Child models and those who are too skinny are being banned from taking part in fashion shows in Italy.

Fashion bosses and the government have signed up to a code to keep under 16s and unhealthy models off the catwalk.

Before strutting their stuff, models must now hand over a medical note to prove they don't have an eating problem.

The ban follows concerns that skinny models are a bad influence on young people who worry about their weight.

The code also calls for larger-sized models to be brought in to show off the latest designs.

An government spokeswoman revealed a worrying fact about kids in Italy.

"Sixty per cent of teenagers in our country would like to be skinnier that they are," she said.

Kept out

The code is not a law, but any designers who don't sign up could be kept out of big fashion events.

Italy is one of the biggest fashion centres in the world. Lots of people in the fashion world are really influenced by what happens there.

It means the code could be introduced in other countries too.

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