Background: Few studies to date have investigated whether in fact the prevalence of eating disorders (ED) and/or use of illicit drugs is higher among models than among other groups of females. Method: A group of 63 professional fashion models of various nationalities were studied by means of self-reported questionnaires. They were compared with a control group of 126 female subjects recruited from the general population. Results: Fashion models weigh significantly less than controls, but only a small percentage of them uses unhealthy methods to control their weight. The current frequency of full-syndrome ED did not differ between the groups, but partial-syndrome ED were significantly more common among fashion models than among controls. Current substance use or alcohol abuse was reported by 35% of fashion models and 12% of controls. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that fashion models are more at risk for partial ED and use of illicit drugs than females in the general population.

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