Addressing eating disorders through legislation: The Israeli ‘Models' Law’—process, enactment, and dilemmas

Yael Latzer, Rachel Adatto, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preventing the onset of eating disorders and disordered eating pathology is crucial. While these conditions have a multi-factorial etiology, socio-cultural norms, particularly the media, contribute greatly. Policy and legislative action are warranted to change harmful media images. To the best of our knowledge, Israel was the first country to tackle the problem of unrealistic and unhealthy images in the media through legislation by initiating and passing an innovative law. The “Knesset,” the Israeli Parliament, voted in December 2012 to pass new legislation that forbids the appearance of underweight models (BMI of 18.5 or less) in commercial advertising. The law further requires that if a graphic editing program has been used to reduce the dimensions of a model in advertising photographs, this fact must be clearly indicated. The purpose of this article is to describe the law; the process and obstacles to creating and passing the law in the Knesset; national and international reactions to this Israeli law; and the challenges of implementing (enacting and enforcing) this law in Israel. Given that other countries are implementing similar policies, additional legal approaches are described, including ideas for further research on how to enact, enforce, and evaluate the impact of such laws.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100001
JournalDialogues in Health
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Disordered eating
  • Eating disorders
  • Israel
  • Law
  • Media
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)


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