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New Israeli Law Takes Aim at Underweight Models

A groundbreaking law passed in Israel last week bans both male and female models from working if they are too skinny.

Israel decided to use the standards of the body mass index to determine if a model is underweight. The body mass index, or BMI, measures your weight and height to determine if you are at a healthy weight or not. It’s calculated by dividing your height in meters and your weight in kilograms. This formula is used by organizations including the US Military and the World Health Organization to determine quickly and easily how healthy someone is. It is an estimation of someone’s health, as opposed to an actual detailed analysis.

There are four categories a person could fall in. The first is underweightThis is anything less than 18.5. Second is healthy weight, which is 18.6 to 24.9. Next is overweight, which is 25-29.9. Finally, obese, which is 30 and above.

Based on the BMI standards a model, for example, who is 5 foot 9 inches must not weigh less than 125 pounds. According to this Israeli law, any model hired for a job, can not fall under 18.5 BMI. If a model falls into the underweight category he or she must have a doctor’s note saying they are healthy.
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