Friday, November 17, 2006

Anorexia Chronicles: Ok Seriously.

Some people think that I do this column because I'm mean. While I am mean, I actually do this because anorexia/bulemia has personally touched my life. So all kidding aside, eat something healthy today.

Ana Carolina Reston, a 21 year-old Brazilian fashion model died from complications of anorexia in a Sao Paulo hospital on Tuesday. Reston weighed only 88 pounds and was about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Doctors consider this weight normal for a 12-year-old girl no more than about 5 feet tall. Her mother has made an emotional appeal for parents to take better care of aspiring young models. "Take care of your children ... no money is worth the life of your child, not even the most famous (fashion) brand is worth this," her mother, Miriam Reston, told O Globo newspaper. She said her daughter had been trying to help her family with the money she made as a model. Miriam spoke on national television and to local newspapers to highlight the tragedy. She said she had pleaded with her daughter to eat more and to see a doctor. "She would reply, 'Mummy, don't mess me around,"' Miriam told O Estado de S.Paulo. Reston was not famous, but she had worked abroad, including in Japan, and did some jobs for Giorgio Armani and the Brazilian model agency L'Equipe, which declined immediate comment.

In September, Spain caused a storm in the fashion world when Madrid barred models below a certain weight from its top fashion show. Models with a body-mass-index (BMI), which takes into account height and weight, of less than 18 were banned. Reston's BMI was just 13.5 while the World Health Organization considers anyone with a BMI below 18.5 underweight. You know they probably told her she looked just perfect! A BMI below 17.5 being one of the criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and a BMI nearing 15 is usually used as an indicator for starvation. Other famous fashion venues like London were considering following suit. [source]

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