Super-thin French models must have doctor's note of health

 Ultra-thin models in France will need to provide bill of health from doctor, under new laws.

Story highlights

  • Excessively thin French models must provide a doctor's bill of health
  • Employers breaking the law could face six months in jail, $81,000 fine

(CNN)Super-thin models in France must provide a doctor's certificate confirming they're of a healthy weight, according to a new law.

Employers of models breaking the law could face six months in jail and fines of $81,000.
    The legislation, passed Thursday, also stipulated that advertisements featuring models whose body shapes have been altered be labeled "photograph edited."
    Those breaking the law on digitally altered images could face fines of $40,600 or up to 30% of expenses relating to the advertisement.
    France has between 30,000 and 40,000 people with anorexia, according to the bill. It added that 20% of girls restricted their eating at some point in their lives.
    Advertisements of models in which the body shape has been altered should be labeled "photograph edited," under new laws.
    "Images of the body idolizing excessive thinness or wasting, and stigmatizing curves, undeniably contribute to unhappiness -- especially among many young girls," said the bill.
    "The appearance of some models helps to spread potentially dangerous stereotypes for fragile populations."
    A previous version of the bill proposed all modeling agencies receive medical certificates from clients proving that their Body Mass Index was at least 18.
    The average BMI for a woman in France is 23.2 -- the lowest average in Western Europe, according to a 2009 study from France's National Institute of Demographic Studies.
    However, the earlier draft was criticized by some who claimed that BMI is not always the most accurate way of judging healthy body shapes.
    The new bill means a health professional will judge whether a model is of a healthy weight, taking into account age, gender, weight, and body shape.