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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 9:24 pm 
orange you prolific
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ncb--This was excellent! Thank you so very much for taking the time to translate!!! I only know words here and there of French and was so grateful! And thank you, Rache, for corresponding!

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Yes, thank you, Rache and NCB, for both writing and translating. It is truly interesting to see how she is construing her Bill, and her responses to someone from a foreign jurisdiction.

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:33 am 
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Valérie Boyer proposes a law in order to fight against incitations of attaining extreme thinness or anorexia.
Anxious to fight against extreme thinness and mental manipulations of the “pro-ana” movement, Valérie Boyer proposes a law aiming to prosecute people who incite others to deprive themselves of food in order to lose weight excessively, or who openly glamorize anorexia.
This proposition was accepted by the national assembly in the first reading; moreover, it is the first one of its kind worldwide. It pursues to dissuade and prosecute persons who, directly or by means of communication media (blogs, internet sites, or magazines...), endanger fragile persons by bragging about the virtue of extreme skinniness and anorexia or by recommend deprivation of food in order to attain extreme thinness. Along with the infraction of endangering the lives of others, Valérie Boyer’s proposition also stipulates that the act of motivating persons to deprive themselves of food in order to lose weight excessively and thus, compromise their health even to the extent of possible death should be punished with two years in prison and a fine of € 30,000. These penalties will be extended to three years in prison and a € 45,000 fine if this motivation actually caused the death of a person.
But this proposition of prosecution is an ambitious and global project. The government deals with it since 2006 and aims to consider eating disorders as true public health problems.
The national program of nutritional health 2006/2010 and the plan “health of the youth” last presented on February 27 by Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Health, Youth, Sports, and associative life, dedicate a lot of importance to eating disorders (overweight, extreme underweight...) and to the improvement of identification of nutritional problems from a very early age (obesity, malnutrition...).

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 3:59 am 
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This is also the reason a multi-professional working group consisting of doctors, model agencies, fashion representatives, advertisers, the media, and other communication associations or agencies was formed under the presidency of professor Marcel Rufo and Jean-Pierre Poulain. Furthermore, their work has led to the signing of a voluntary engagement charter about body image and against anorexia.
For Valérie Boyer, this proposition does not try to denounce those suffering or to make believe that a legal text is the only answer to nutritional problems that primarily requires the involvement of health professionals by any means.
This is rather about creating a new dissuasive incrimination than being repressive. It is about integrating the frame of a volunteer policy for the protection of the health of our youth.
It is obvious that incitements of anorexia are not the only causes of this psychologically complex disease, and with this law, the legislator does not intend to replace doctors, psychotherapists, and other competent professionals.
It is our responsibility to prevent the drifts or mental manipulations that endanger the health of both our youth and vulnerable or fragile people. Also, it is our responsibility to question depictions of the - especially female - body in our society. After all, it is our depiction of the body that is put into question. Social pressure, particularly imposed by the media, encourages abusive or even pathological nutritional practices. How can these problems in a society that preaches self control, slenderness, achievement, and everlasting youth not be questioned?
Unfortunately, incitations of excessive thinness are spreading, especially via so-called “pro-ana” pages where anorexia is openly glamorized and glorified by disseminating alarming recommendations that could influence the eating habits of vulnerable people. Certain practices at the border of mental manipulation could almost be called sectarian. Shall we powerlessly watch these dangerous practices spreading out uncontrollably and by not speaking up approving of turning these emaciated bodies into icons? Certainly not! On the contrary, we have to fight against this plague. This is the reason why I propose a law stipulating to object to incitements of attaining extreme thinness.

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 11:36 pm 
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For more information on Valérie Boyer’s proposal:

Intervention of Valérie Boyer, Minister in charge of the proposition of the law regarding the battle against the incitation of anorexia.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mister President,
Mrs. Minister
Dear colleagues

This proposition aiming to fight against the incitation of attaining extreme thinness or anorexia will enable the national assembly - for the first time, which is quite a symbol - to comment on this major question which was kept from the public debate for far too long.
In regard of denial, which is an important characteristic of this disease, suffering, and isolation of people affected, and in regard of the feeling of powerlessness relatives and friends are often overwhelmed with, it is indeed time to set a strong sign showing awareness and mobilization of the public authorities against this plague.
Anorexia is not only a huge issue for the public health, but also, as you, Mrs. Minister, stated it (“as deep as this disease is connected to the representation of the female body”) “the symptom of a kind of sickness of our civilization about which doctors, philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists would have a lot to say and a lot to teach us.”
Before I come to the point and the finality of the proposition, I would like to start by emphasizing what it is not about:
It is by no means about denouncing those suffering or even suggest that a legal text can answer all the questions raised by this disease, especially questions regarding meeting the costs which automatically puts competent professionals in the first place.
If it is proposed as to create a new means of prosecution, the meaning of this text is not in the first place repressive, but dissuasive, and it concentrates on continuing a global, balanced, and particularly voluntary policy in order to protect our youth’s health in a better way, especially concerning nutritional problems such as anorexia or obesity.
Also, it is clearly not about leading to the belief that incitations of anorexia as they can be found on certain internet pages or, more generally speaking, our socio-cultural environment are the only causes of anorexia (or even to deny the importance of individual factors of vulnerability) as this psychological disease, which by the way is not a new one, is a very complex one. Our assembly certainly does not have the intention to replace the very important work of doctors, psychotherapists, or psychoanalysts for a better understanding of this disease.

On the other hand, the parliament fully understands and performs its role: it’s intention is to prevent certain outcomes in order to better protect the health of very sensitive and vulnerable people; and also, beyond the particular problem of anorexia, it questions problems concerning the depiction of the body, especially the female body, in our society altogether.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 2:59 am 
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1. Anorexia and the attempt of extreme thinness are indeed major problems of the public health...
1.1. ... as this disease is very serious and can lead to disability
(I recall that anorexia is a disease, an eating disorder, characterized by severe weight loss, fear of food, obsession about assumed overweight, and body image distortion). In France, about 30,000 to 40,000 people are affected, 90% of which are women, especially young women.
Short- and long term health consequences of anorexia are often severe (e.g. osteoporosis, anemia, loss of physical and muscular capacity, even damage of vital organs and cardiac problems). Anorexia shows the highest mortality rate among psychological diseases: within ten years, the mortality rate represents 5% and close to 20% in the long term range.
1.2. ... that being said, a trend of extreme valorization of thinness, even anorexia, that has been developing over a couple of years seems to be extremely worrying.
∑ Anorexia is a psychological disease; analyzing it’s - doubtlessly numerous - causes is very complex. Certain specialists assume that nutritional behavior depends on individual factors, particularly psychological ones, and that it is closely related to environmental and socio-cultural factors.
Aside from the particular problem of anorexia, body representation in our society raises a lot of questions. The media puts a lot of social pressure concerning body image on women. This contributes to developing abusive nutritional and corporal practices. According to certain analyses, this can easily lead to the beginning of pathological nutritional behavior for certain sensitive women, followed by extreme dieting. How can we not question these disordered eating behaviors in a consumer society that sometimes seems to excessively promote image, self-control, skinniness, achievement, or eternal youth?
∑ Furthermore, the development of incitations of excessive thinness, transmitted both directly (personally), through certain types of media, and particularly through pro-anorexia pages on the internet is alarming.
Indeed, members of the “pro-ana” movement openly glamorize and glorify anorexia and disseminate alarming recommendations. These recommendations can lead certain vulnerable and sensitive people to pick up dangerous nutritional behaviors. In extreme cases, methods of mental manipulation resembling certain sectarian practices are applied.
Shall we thus continue to helplessly observe this uncontrollable development of methods endangering the health of especially fragile people, often kids, and by remaining silent approve of making icons of emaciated bodies?
2. Of course not. This is why it seems necessary to reinforce the battle against incitations of extreme thinness or anorexia.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:07 am 
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 8:30 am 
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1.1. For these purposes, the proposition of this law plans to prosecute the incitation of attaining excessive thinness. This means that the fact of motivating people to attain excessive thinness by encouraging extremely restrictive nutritional behavior whose consequence is either peril of life or a direct compromise of these people’s health can be prosecuted with a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a € 30,000 fine.
This formulation also enables to preclude certain fields from being prosecuted: wherever incitations of certain nutritional behaviors do not serve the purpose of attaining excessive thinness, but other reasons, e.g. religious, therapeutic, dietetic ones or hunger strike, the law is not to be applied.
Furthermore, the penalty will be risen to three years in prison and a € 45,000 fine if the incitement can be linked to having led to a person’s death. The degree of penalty is linked and proportional to the severity of the committed act in reference to penalties for endangerment of others and motivation of suicide.
If the offense is committed by the print or audio-visual media, the modality of determination of the person responsible follows the same rules and procedures as in case of motivation of suicide (in the first place, the chief executive of the publication is to be held responsible).
In addition, two amendments assumed by the commission of cultural, social, family affairs clarify the field of the proposition of the law. It became necessary to include new disposals to sanction commercials, meaning fashion, promoting products, objects, or methods that are identified as means to achieve excessive thinness and will result in a direct compromise of people’s health. This offense will also be punished with two years in prison and a € 30,000 fine.
Thus, the proposition not only enables to fight against direct incitements of anorexic behaviors meaning aiming at one or more specific person(s), but also to clearly prosecute in a broader sense the dissemination of content, meaning support, that suggests to attain excessive thinness as it is to be found on certain “pro-ana” sites on the internet.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 8:49 pm 
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ncb, thank you, thank you, thank you! You rock! :D

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:04 pm 
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2.2. If enabling prosecutions is a strong symbol, it does not deal with any kind of questions about meeting the costs of anorexia, and more broadly speaking, it does not deal with questions about the problems created by body image and depiction of bodies in our society. Indeed, making an offense of the points mentioned is not an end in itself, but an implement of a frame of a global policy engaging in reinforce the protection of the health of our youth, especially women.
In this sense, several ambitious actions are already taken by the government, from the presentation in february to the “Youth Health” plan one aim of which is the prevention of the adoption of certain nutritional behaviors. (i.e. promoting a balanced diet representing a strategical issue in terms of the prevention of the public health.)
In addition, I proudly announce that I signed the charter engaging in body image and taking a stand against anorexia on April 9. This charter has been composed by a working group presided by both Mr. Marcel Rufo, child psychiatrist, and Jean-Pierre Poulain, sociologist. The charter comprises the first significant agreement of professionals in acting, communications, clothing, public health and public power in this domain (which needs to be translated into operational measures).
I think it is possible to go even farther in this field. Therefore, I propose five amendments aiming at:
reinforcing medical care and monitoring for models
labeling advertisement pictures airbrushed or retouched by any kind of technique with a specific comment, e.g. “airbrushed picture”, in order to inform the consumer about such practices that continue to disseminate an altered representation of body image
making sure that the BMI of pupils / students is assessed regularly and that a screening for eating disorders is completed at preventative medical examinations of 6th, 9th, 12th, and 15th graders
planning special education about eating disorders in medical school
In addition, other actions could be considered (Mrs. Minister, please give us your opinion on this subject)
actions of information and awareness concerning anorexia could be organized under the condition that particular characteristics of this disease are considered
it would also be interesting to broadly survey the public health in order to gain a better understanding and assess the consequences of extreme thinness, particularly long term consequences
structures like youth centers could be developed in order to better and faster identify eating disorders. Such structures could also serve as support for families.
finally, a European initiative about this domain could be initiated.
(create a possibility of applying more restrictive rules for models)
In conclusion, I am convinced that we should make up our mind to take this proposition which will not only enable us to prevent certain excesses, but hopefully also open up a large debate about this major problem of the public health.
Thank you very much.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Okay, this was the last part... I hope you could at least understand what it's all about :) As I said, I am not very experienced in legal language, so I really hope I could help at least a little...

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 7:48 am 
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I don't think an English translation of this exists anywhere else online. We could link this up on a page on the front of the site in case people wanted to know what was contained in the French legislation... could I do this and credit you somehow for the translation, either by an alias or name?

Thank you greatly to both you for the translations and to wickedrache for contacting the person who penned the legalize in the first place.


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 1:46 pm 
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Muse:
I honestly don't even know if an English translation of this exists anywhere, but I suppose it is too recent for it to have been translated. Of course, you can use my translation; you don't have to credit me for it. You might want to add a comment that it is not an official translation though; that way, we're safe :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 1:52 pm 
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Boyer said in the most recent email that no English translation existed, so i presume this is a first!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:43 pm 
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My brother is writing a paper referencing this - in hunting it down i just wanted to bump it up, since it was so amazing of NCB!!

and Sharon, you should totes post this. I don't know what if any current developments there are on the subject. anyone?

Anyway. Cool stuff. And i don't know if ncb is still around but DAMN that was awesome!!!

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