I read about this a few weeks ago that the organizers were planning on using BMI to keep models that were too thin from walking the catwalk. It really happened.
Doctors Susana Monereo of Spain's National Endocrinology Society and Basilio Moreno, an obesity consultant at Gregorio Maranon Hospital, were among the specialists called on to medically assess the models.
Five of the 68 models who showed up for appraisal failed the test, the doctors said. The models were over 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed less than 121.25 pounds, Monereo said.
"They had a body mass index below, well below, that which is considered normal not just by the Spanish endocrinology society, whom we represent, but also by the limits set by the World Health Organization," Monereo said.
And, the Brits are considering the same criteria.
A British Cabinet minister, meanwhile, called Saturday for London Fashion Week, also opening Monday, to follow Madrid's lead.
"The fashion industry's promotion of beauty as meaning stick thin is damaging to young girls' self image and to their health," Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said in a statement. "Young girls aspire to look like the catwalk models - when those models are unhealthily underweight it pressurizes girls to starve themselves to look the same."
The British Fashion Council, which runs Fashion Week, said in a statement that it "does not comment or interfere in the aesthetic of any designer's show."
"The BFC has canceled the photo call on Sunday because it is unwilling to add any more impetus to the publicity surrounding this complicated issue," it added.
Do you know your BMI? Divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply that by 703. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. BMI isn't a perfect indicator of a healthy weight, but it is a good starting point.