Harvard Scholars Call for Regulation of “Paris Thin” Runway Models

hsphResearchers at the Harvard School of Public Health are calling for regulations that would ban the use of ultra thin models by the U.S. fashion industry. The proposal calls for similar regulations that were introduced in France in 2015. S. Bryn Austin and Katherine Record of the Harvard School of Public Health have called for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set regulations that would prohibit the hiring of models below a given body mass index.

The authors noted that the average runway model’s body mass index is typically below the World Health Organization’s threshold for medically dangerous thinness for adults. “Models have died of starvation-related complications, sometimes just after stepping off the runway,” the authors write.

AustinS. Bryn Austin is director of the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders (STRIPED) and professor in the department of social and behavioral sciences. She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Katherine-RecordKatherine Record is an instructor in health policy and management and deputy director of Behavioral Health Integration & Accountable Care at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. She is a graduate of Georgetown University. Record holds a master of public health degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree in psychology and a law degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

The paper, “Paris Thin: A Call to Regulate Life-threatening Starvation of Runway Models in the U.S Fashion Industry,” was published on the website of the American Journal of Public Health. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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