Doctors say scouts seek models at Swedish eating disorder clinic

April 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 18 (UPI) -- Doctors at an eating disorders clinic in Stockholm say talent scouts have tried to recruit extremely thin girls for modeling jobs from the clinic.

Because of the incidents, which happened about a year ago, the Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders was forced to change its procedures for the walks its patients take outside the clinic, The Local.se reported Thursday.

Doctors working at the clinic said talent scouts would approach girls after they exited the clinic to go on walks.

Many of the girls approached last year were teenagers and some had a body mass index -- a measurement of a person's height-to-weight ratio -- of as low as 14. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 for an adult woman.

"They claimed that they approach healthy, normally slim young people and that they never urge anyone to lose weight; that's how they defended themselves," care coordinator Chistina Lillman-Ringborg told the TT news agency.

"We think this is repugnant. People have stood outside our clinic and tried to pick up our girls because they know they are very thin," chief doctor Anna-Maria af Sandeberg told the Metro newspaper. "It sends the wrong signals when the girls are being treated for eating disorders."

The Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders is the largest facility for the treatment of eating disorders in Stockholm. It has room to house as many as 1,700 patients.

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