Junkfood Science: Heartstopping news

February 15, 2007

Heartstopping news

The Times UK reports that an 18-year old model was found dead this week by her Grandmother and believed to have suffered a heart attack, like her sister. Her sister had died from complications of anorexia just 6 months ago while modeling at a fashion show.

Extreme diet model dies six months after anorexic sister

A teenage model has been found dead from extreme dieting six months after her sister, also a model, died at a fashion show from complications arising from anorexia. Eliana Ramos, 18, was found dead in her bedroom by her grandmother, with whom she was staying in Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital. She is believed to have suffered a heart attack. A full postmortem examination report has yet to be released but local reports suggested that Ms Ramos, who was taking part in Montevideo fashion week, suffered from “alimentary deficiency.”....

Her father said [after her sister’s death] that his daughter had been on a regime of lettuce and diet cola in an attempt to lose weight. Her body mass index (BMI) was found to be below the level considered by the World Health Organisation to be starvation....

Yesterday Pancho Dotto, the agency’s owner, dismissed claims that an eating disorder was responsible for Eliana’s death. “She was very healthy, she ate well and played sports,” he said. “She was never extremely thin. It is absurd to talk of alimentary deficiency, anorexia, bulimia and all that....

According to the Irish Examiner, fellow models deny that either sister had suffered from an eating disorder.

Her sister was one of several thin models who’ve died recently of anorexia, sparking the international debate on super thin models. As London Fashion Week begins, the body shape of the models may be gaining more media attention than the clothes. Show organizers are defending their decision not to ban super-skinny young women and their reasons were reported in The Standard. Regardless of where one stands in this dilemma, their valid points provide food for thought:

Weight debate steals show from London fashions

...“We feel strongly that banning is not the right course to take,” said Hilary Riva, chief executive of show organizer, the British Fashion Council. “It’s very discriminatory. You can’t tell by looking at a model and you can't tell by weighing a model whether she is suffering from an eating disorder.”...

Voluminous gowns were also the theme at a show by Dane Peter Jensen and Duro Olowu, a Nigerian-born former lawyer who agreed with the decision not to ban skinny girls. “I think it’s a bit hypocritical considering in Hollywood you have all these actresses who are obviously anorexic and they still put them on covers,” he said.

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