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Supermodel Speaks Out On Anorexia

Gisele Bundchen has entered Brazil's growing debate over anorexia, saying families are to blame — not the fashion industry.

"I never suffered this problem because I had a very strong family base," the supermodel told the local Globo newspaper on Friday. "The parents are responsible, not fashion."

The 26-year-old model was in Brazil for the annual Fashion Rio, a weeklong showcase for some of the country's top designers.

Anorexia became a hot issue in Brazil after the deaths of four young women last month, including 21-year-old model Ana Carolina Reston.

Splashed across the front pages of newspapers nationwide, the subject has held morbid fascination for Brazilians, and was even the theme of a popular TV soap opera. It also sparked a debate within Brazil's fashion industry.

"Everybody knows the standard for models is to be thin," Bundchen said. "But you can't generalize and say that all models are anorexic."

Other countries, too, have begun to address what they see as the dangerous link between high fashion glamour and an unhealthy image of women. In September, Madrid's Fashion week banned underweight models. Italy's designers followed suit in December, requiring models to submit proof that they do no suffer from an eating disorder.

Bundchen, who left home for a three-month modeling job in Japan when she was 14, said family support was key to her.

"You leave home, the protection of your parents, but you still know you have their support," said the Brazilian, who has five sisters.