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The Too-Thin Look Is Out In Paris

Key members of the French fashion industry signed a government-backed charter Wednesday aimed at fighting against anorexia and promoting healthy body images.

The document, backed by the Health Ministry, asks signatories to work toward "a diversity of body representations" and "not to show images of people that could help promote a model of extreme thinness."

The international fashion industry has drawn criticism for stressing the super-thin look. Concerns about anorexia have grown in France - and around the world - since the reportedly anorexia-related deaths of several South American models in 2006, including Brazilian Ana Carolina Reston.

Guidelines have been in place in France since the 1980s to regulate French modeling agencies, including mandatory medical visits for models under 16.

The nonbinding charter was signed by groups including the French Couture Federation, the French Federation for Women's Pret-a-Porter and the Union of Modeling Agencies, as well as some representatives of advertising and media.

Officials in other countries have taken much more dramatic measures to promote healthy body images. The Madrid fashion show bans women whose body mass-to-height ratio is below 18, while Milan bans models below 18.5.

However, another much tougher, and more contested, measure against eating disorders is to go before France's parliament this month.

Valerie Boyer, a lawmaker from President Nicolas Sarkozy's party, has proposed a bill to make it possible to convict people responsible for Web sites or fashion ads that promote anorexia, with penalties of up to two years in prison and over $47,000 in fines.

The bill is set to go before the National Assembly next week.

The French Health Ministry says about 30,000 to 40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France, the vast majority women.