The ethics of public health laws, and the special case of the new “Model law”

Sharon Steinberg, Alan Jotkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The “model law” in Israel forbids underweight models (BMI below 18.5) to work. The stated goal of the law is to prevent eating disorders among the general audience of the models. Most public health laws that aim to encourage healthy lifestyles target issues related to unhealthy products, for instance taxes and limitations on advertisements. A law that aims to prevent the imitation of an unhealthy lifestyle is unique. A similar law against showing movies with smoking actors has previously passed in India. Notwithstanding the good intentions, these new laws and other similar legislation raise significant ethical issues, such as limitations on personal freedom and the potential for discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number648047
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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