Model-turned-filmmaker Sara Ziff said Fashion Week models -- including child models -- are often forced to work "grueling" hours that don't afford them time to eat.
"Viewed in this light, the CFDA's offer to provide half-priced juices -- although better than nothing -- suggests to me that they still don't understand the depth of the problem, which is even more a labor issue than it is a health issue," said Ziff, the founder and director of The Model Alliance, a group created to protect model rights.
The Model Alliance estimated that 64.1 percent of models have been asked to lose weight by their modeling agency, 48.7 percent of them do fasts or cleanses to lose weight, and 31.2 percent have had eating disorders.
One of the alliance's key issues is child labor, which CFDA attempted to address by banning models under 16.
"Minors are defined as under 18, not 16," Ziff said. "And models under 18 have legal protections such as mandatory work permits, limited working hours, and provisions for meal breaks -- protections that designers, including some CFDA board members, have a history of ignoring."
Thompson said younger models are more desirable to designers because they haven't hit puberty yet and lack the natural curves of the older girls.
Since Thompson made a name for herself on "America's Next Top Model," designers have dressed her in their clothes and given her front-row seats to their New York Fashion Week shows, but she has not been able to participate. That's because there has only been one plus size show in Fashion Week history, she said, adding that it was in 2011 and has not been repeated since.
"I realized they were just doing this for their own publicity. It made them look like they supported a healthy body image," she said. "I thought, 'I'm not going to do this anymore unless they're putting real women of different sizes in the show.'"
Neither CFDA nor Organic Avenue was available for comment.