New Calls to Regulate the Weight of Runway Models

Public health experts are calling for U.S. officials to follow France in establishing guidelines for models' weight.
3:39 | 12/22/15

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Transcript for New Calls to Regulate the Weight of Runway Models
Segue to a walk on the catwalk to regulate the weight of runway models. France just did it that passed a law that bans excessively thin models and public health officials are urging the same for models in the U.S. And Reena ninan has more. Reporter: They are the epitome of glamour, the models that define style and beauty. But now the fashion industry is under fire from critics who say that most models are dangerously thin. The modeling industry definitely encouraging women often explicitly so to maintain extreme thin frames. Reporter: In a strong new editorial from the American journal of public health, expe experts and eating disorder professionals say the industry body standard is hazardous and encouraging problems like eating disorders and body dysmorphia and right runway models are by definition and professional necessity starving to death. They're urging the U.S. To regulate and set a standard bmi, a working model must meet. Just last week France passed such a law requiring model to have a doctor's note proving that they are healthy. We have statistics such as 70% of adolescents report they define the ideal body image as being what they see in fashion magazines. Reporter: Record says that the average model who makes it big on the international stage has a bmi of 14. 2 points below the world health organization's definition of starvation. She wants a U.S. Occupational safety and health administration to require all models to have a bmi of 18 and above. A bmi of 14 or below is not naturally skinny. You are at great risk at any time of the day for cardiac arrest. Reporter: For "Good morning America," Reena ninan, ABC news, New York. And joining me now is founder of the model alliance Sara ziff, former model, longtime model. What do you think of this idea, legislation for the catwalk. You like it? I'm glad this issue is being taken seriously. I think too often models' concerns are trivialized and dismissed. People say, oh, you know, you're a fashion model. How hard can it be but professional models have literally died trying to achieve this standard of beauty, this body image and it goes beyond just the models working in the industry. This is a powerful industry that has an influence on our culture and on the women and girls who look up to models so -- From your perspective somebody in the industry, do you think that legislation can change the way things are? Yeah, well, so we've seen in France they've just passed this bill that calls for health checks and that's something that I in the model alliance support. Unfortunately, it's -- we get pushback from different stakeholders in the industry. Do you think if there was legislation models would say, okay, let's all agree we'll gain "X" amount or internal pressure as an individual to be thin? I think that -- the industry is not solely responsible, okay. That's what I was -- I think that there are multiple sources of pressure, but everyone needs to do their part because I think that we all want to promote a healthy ideal for the girls working in the industry and the people who look up to these models. Yeah, I was going to say girls like my daughter who think the beall end all is on that catwalk. And the industry has not been good at regulating itself. That's why all these other countries have stepped up and I think the U.S. Needs to do more, as well. Thank you for stepping up and speaking out. Sara, thank you very much. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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