Montreal Fashion Week organizers say underweight models will not be permitted to walk the runway owing to concerns over poor nutrition and eating disorders in the industry.
Organizers said Monday thatmodels with a low body mass index — a calculation based ona person'sweightto height ratio— or those who show signs of having an eating disorder will be pulled fromtheclothing trade showin Montrealrunning Oct. 9to 11.
Models who do not meet the weight standard will beencouraged to seek professional help. The United Nations suggests healthy adults should have a BMI of between 18.5 and 25.
Montreal organizers also said models under the age of 16 will not be allowed to participate.
"We are spearheading this campaign because the health of our young people is important to us and we wish to make a positive contribution to the challenges of public health," organizer Chantal Durivage saidin a release issued Monday.
"We believe that our actions can contribute to the well-being of the public and the success of the fashion industry in general."
Fashion week organizers in Europe and North America continue to debate how best to deal with eating disorders in the industry. In Spain and Italy, models must have a BMI of at least 18.5 to be eligible to participate in fashion week shows.
In England, London Fashion Week officials banned models under the age of 16 from walking the catwalk this year. Organizers did not set a BMI standard for participants, saying the index was not necessarily the best indicator of good health.