With the start of 2013 the so-called “models law” came into effect Tuesday, banning the appearance of underweight models in advertisements.
The law, approved by the Knesset in March 2012, requires models to have maintained a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18.5, considered to be the minimum for a healthy person, for three months before doing a photo shoot.
The increased prevalence of eating disorders in Israeli society, particularly among young girls, prompted Danny Danon of the Likud and Rachel Adatto of Kadima to draft the law, which aims to discourage the idealization of excessively thin bodies.
“This law is another step in the war against eating disorders,” Adatto, a physician, said after a preliminary reading of the draft law in 2011. Underweight models, she said, “can no longer serve as role models for innocent young people who adopt and copy the illusion of thinness.”
Under the law, furthermore, advertisers who digitally alter photographs to trim away unwanted weight from models must clearly mark the resulting images to indicate that they have been manipulated.