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Most Models Meet Criteria for Anorexia, Magazine Says

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Most runway models meet the body mass index criteria for anorexia, according to an editorial pictorial in the January issue of PLUS Model magazine.

Twenty years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman.  Today, she weighs 23 percent less, it said.  When asked for its source, the magazine cited the website of Rader Programs, which treats those with eating disorders.

Plus-size models have shrunk, too.  A decade ago, plus-size models averaged between size 12 and size 18.  Today, the majority of plus-size models an agency boards are between size 6 and size 14, the magazine said, based on its own research.

These statistics accompany nude photos of a plus-size model, who in some images is entwined with a nude runway model.

The editorial -- intended to be revealing in both senses -- is aimed at the fashion industry, but its immediate audience is ordinary women who are increasingly dissatisfied by fashion’s unwillingness to market to them, the magazine said.  Half of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller, it said.

Buy from companies that market to you, shun those who don’t and amplify your demands via social media, the editorial advised women.

Model Beverly Johnson told ABC News she was between a size 4 and 6 at the height of her career two decades ago.  She wasn’t surprised to learn that meant she could almost be considered plus-size today.

“I think the whole obsession of being thin -- I see more women and sometimes men that are super, super thin than in any time in history,” she said.

“My daughter is a plus-size model,” she added, “and she’s one of my heroes because she’s one of the warriors that are going out and saying, ‘Listen, we need to embrace our bodies and love our bodies as they are.’”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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