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Size 0 is a women's clothing size in the US catalog sizes system, believed to be equivalent to a UK size 4,[1] a European size 32,[1] Italian size 36, an Australian size 4, or a men's size 21.[citation needed] Size 0 and 00 were invented due to the changing of clothing sizes over time (referred to as vanity sizing or size inflation), which has caused the adoption of lower numbers. Modern size 0 clothing, depending on brand and style, will fit measurements of chest-stomach-hips from 30-22-32 inches (76-56-81 cm) to 33-25-35 inches (84-64-89 cm, which according to the media, is proportionate to the body size of an average eight year old.[2]

'Zero' is now a term which people relate to something positive. It is used in adverts, for example, '0% interest free loans' and in branded products such as Coke Zero. The association of the word 'zero' leads people to believe that it is beneficial for them.[2]

However “Size Zero” is not beneficial as there are many health risks involved. Often people aspire to be a “Size Zero” and they will starve themselves in order to get to this media portrayed glamorous size, which can lead to a medical condition called anorexia nervosa. This is a form of eating disorder and simply means a "loss of appetite due to your nerves".[3] Health risks of this disease include hair and skin problems, being cold constantly and many suffers tend to be anaemic which causes tiredness due to the lack of Iron into their body, and in addition this can cause fainting. Such extreme cases can lead to infertility and death.[3]

"Size zero" is often used to refer to extremely thin individuals (especially women), or trends associated with them. For example, Louise Redknapp dieted to fit into a size zero dress to explore the effects for a documentary television program.[4] However, this usage does not always relate directly to the clothing size - the "size zero ban" at the Madrid Fashion Week had body mass index (BMI) of 18 or below as its criteria, not body measurements and as a result, five models were banned from taking part.[5] However the Madrid Fashion Week are not the only group to ban ‘size zero’ models from taking part in their catwalks. During the London Fashion Week, size zero models were banned and there has been a lot of debate regarding this controversial subject. The editor of Vogue magazine has also spoken out against this trend, citing the unrealistic pressures it creates for young women and the high incidence of eating disorders.[6]

As a result of this highly growing trend to have these specific body measurements and body mass index, inevitably unfortunate deaths have occurred. “Size Zero” was first highlighted when a model named Luisel Ramos fainted on the catwalk whilst taking part in Uruguay’s Fashion Week. It is believed that she died from heart failure at just 22 with a BMI of 14.5. Which is extremely low as a BMI of 16 is said to be starvation according to the World Health Organisation. Shockingly just six months after her death, her sister died of anorexia, Eliana Ramos who was 18 was also a model. The cause of her death was linked to malnutrition as she suffered from a heart attack.[7] The third case of death from anorexia was a model named Ana Carolina Reston. She weighed 8 stone and prior to modelling she was told she was too fat, however within time and on a strict diet of tomatoes and apples she made it to the catwalks after starving herself. As a result, this starvation led to her developing anorexia and two years later she had lost a massive two stone and unfortunately died.[8]

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