London Fashion Week to allow thin models

Models strutting catwalks at London Fashion Week should provide a certificate attesting their good health, but there will be no outright ban on wafer-thin women, the British Fashion Council said on Friday. In its report, the council recommended models under 16 should be outlawed from London's catwalks. It said a medical certificate must be provided by September from doctors specializing in eating disorders. Spain and Italy have recommended banning models with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 from catwalks, but the expert panel behind the report rejected the use of the index, saying it was not an accurate measure of health. "We have considered this carefully and listened to a range of expert views. But we do not believe a focus on BMI provides the way forward," the report said. "We favor the alternative approach of promoting good health based on medical assessments of models participating in London Fashion Week." The report acknowledged there was a problem with eating disorders among models and recommended a health education and awareness program be set up. "During the investigation, evidence of the vulnerability of women in the modeling profession was startling and models are at a high risk of eating disorders," said the chair of the inquiry.