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Spain Launches Movement Against Skinny Fashion Models

za Aguirre said.

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are caused partly by the thin beauty ideal, experts agree.

The Madrid region has also launched a vast program to promote healthy images of beauty and eating habits among women. The program known as the "pact against anorexia" has more than 200 participants.

They include some of Spain's top fashion designers, such as Modesto Lomba and Jesus del Pozo, textile companies such as Zara and Mango, anti-anorexia associations, consumers' organizations, trade unions and the like.

The plan includes 24 measures for instance to control the publicity of diet products, to campaign in favor of healthy eating, to establish a register of anorexia and bulimia sufferers and a nutritional institute.

The Madrid initiative has the backing of the central government, which joined in with a study of the body structures of 8,500 women aged between 12 and 70 years from all over the country.

Using laser and other technologies, experts are investigating the shape of the average Spanish woman as opposed to unreal fashion images.

The goal of the study is to unify the wildly varying clothes sizes in such a way that the same size number will always correspond to the same measurements.

The size 46 will also become a normal instead of a special category, and plastic models in shop windows will be more full-bodied.

The measures are to be launched in 2008 after the study is finished.

"It is not reasonable in a modern society to create stereotypes of beauty that do not correspond to social reality," Health Minister Elena Salgado said.

The Spanish senate had recommended measures to change the beauty ideal already in 1999, but the time was not yet ripe.

In the meantime, the percentage of young Spanish women suffering from anorexia or bulimia has climbed from 1 to 4 percent of the total, according to fig
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