A woman walks into a doctor's office with a carrot in her left ear, a stalk of celery in her right ear, and an asparagus spear in each nostril. "Doc, what's wrong with me?" she asks.
"Well, obviously," replies the doctor, "You're not eating properly."
But seriously, the hazards of not eating properly are no joke. You know how dangerous excess weight can be (70 percent deal with it), but it's equally risky to be too thin because of an eating disorder.
Around the globe, that is finally getting recognized.
The French recently joined Italy, Spain, and Israel in banning excessively thin runway models. The reason? According to an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health, "Models have died of starvation-related complications, sometimes just after stepping off the runway."
In addition, glorifying too-thin runway models is a public health hazard, especially for teenage girls.
It contributes to developing body dysmorphic disorder (seeing yourself as severely flawed), as well as eating disorders such as anorexia (thinking you're overweight, even when you're clearly underweight) and bulimia (binge-eating followed by forced vomiting, laxative overuse, fasting, excessive exercise).
Those disorders can trigger gastrointestinal and kidney problems, osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease — and can be life-threatening.
Now experts from Harvard's School of Public Health are calling on the U.S. government to ban hiring models with a body mass index below 18. Many are currently below 16.
We second this call, and urge parents to help their children feel good about their appearance and to understand the hazards of being too thin.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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