As Australian Fashion Week activities commence around the country, the AMA is calling on the Federal Government to work with the fashion industry and health professionals to introduce guidelines to control the body image promoted by fashion models.
Such guidelines would help prevent low self esteem and poor health among people who are influenced by unrealistic body images portrayed by fashion models in the media.
AdvertisementDr Haikerwal said there are serious physical and mental health issues in the community around people aspiring to look like skinny models and the portrayal of young girls in fashion promotions.
The AMA believes the Federal Government has a role in bringing together representatives of the fashion industry, the health professions, teachers and parents' groups to discuss what images are acceptable or unacceptable.
"Body image and self esteem among teenagers and young women in particular are heavily influenced by models in magazines and on TV," Dr Haikerwal said.
"The pursuit of the perfect look leads to a whole range of health threats such as eating disorders, dangerous dieting habits, smoking and depression.
"There is also the question of how young girls are sometimes depicted in advertising.
"We need to do something soon to prevent young people, especially girls, harming themselves in the pursuit of a false ideal.
"Government guidelines could cover the appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI) for models and the most appropriate age for models projecting certain images.
"The guidelines would ensure that models are models of good health."