Nation's Leading Eating Disorder Treatment Center, Remuda Ranch, Comments on the Modeling Industry and Thin Models

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Remuda Ranch believes the modeling industry's use of overly thin models may be increasing the risk of eating disorders. The recent death of two fashion models from anorexia demonstrates the deadliness of these disorders if help isn't received on time.

Remuda Ranch, the nation's leading and largest inpatient treatment center for women and girls with eating disorders, believes the modeling industry's use of overly thin models may be increasing the risk of eating disorders. The recent death of two fashion models from anorexia demonstrates the deadliness of these disorders if help isn't received at the right time. Both young men and women around the world are influenced by what is suggested in fashion advertisements, which often is that thin equals beautiful, sexy and desirable.

"What happened to these young models is very sad," said Marian Eberly, vice-president of development at Remuda Ranch, Programs for Eating Disorders. "Eating disorders have the potential to steal one's joy and literally take one's life."

Teens and young adults do a lot to be accepted by society and their peers. For the more vulnerable among them, ads that rely on overly thin models reinforce an ideal image that is unattainable and unhealthy. This pressure can promote an eating disorder.

"The modeling industry could take steps to change its impact. The industry might consider sponsoring public prevention programs, such as lectures offered by eating disorder professionals, and require models to attend," adds Eberly. "Modeling agencies might consider offering year-round classes to keep the issue up front among models and emphasize the importance of self care. There might also be monitoring put in place to detect eating disorders among models and counseling offered to those who need it."

Additionally, Remuda Ranch believes with the informed counsel of experts, industry standards should be set for appropriate weight ranges for the safety and care of both male and female models. As with other industries, appropriate consequences could be established for not meeting the standards. In addition, if an individual model cannot meet the standards, their ability to work could be suspended to motivate them toward health.

"Although we would not dictate to the modeling industry how they should run their business, we would encourage them toward greater awareness of the ramifications of the choices they make and greater social responsibility," said Eberly. "It would be ideal to see models who are closer to normal-sized young woman."

Recently, Spain set a minimum standard of 18.5 BMI (Body Mass Index) for models in their country. Remuda Ranch sees this as a starting point, and suggests further research into appropriate BMI recommendations. At Remuda Ranch, BMI is used as only one indicator of overall health. The center also assesses the concept of weight from a broader perspective that includes assessment of the percentage of body fat and muscle mass. Using only a height and weight measure (which is the calculation for BMI), doesn't leave room to account for other variables and individual markers such as frame size or athleticism.

"Using overly thin models is not a healthy message to society," adds Eberly. "When parents see these images, they can take the opportunity to talk with their children about what they're viewing. They can ask their children questions about social responsibility, identity, the meaning of beauty, why thin seems so important and the value placed on appearance, peer acceptance and self-acceptance."

About Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating Disorders

Remuda Ranch is a caring place for women and girls who are suffering from eating disorders and related issues. Remuda Treatment Programs offer Christian inpatient and residential treatment for women and girls of all faiths suffering from an eating disorder. Each patient is treated by a multi-disciplinary team including a Psychiatric and a Primary Care Provider, Registered Dietitian, Masters Level therapist, Psychologist and Registered Nurse. The professional staff equips each patient with the right tools to live a healthy, productive life. For more information, call 1-800-445-1900 or visit http://www.remudaranch.com.

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