Catwalk girl, 18, dies six months after her model sister starved herself to death

  1. By TAHIRA YAQOOB and JASON MITCHELL - 15th February 2007

    A teenage model whose sister starved herself to death has also died of suspected anorexia.

    Eliana Ramos, 18, collapsed six months after her sister Luisel had a heart attack during a fashion show and triggered an international debate over the use of size zero models on the catwalks.

    Skinny: Eliana models a bikini and, right, her older sister Luisel on the catwalk shortly before her death

    Fashion bosses in Madrid and Milan have set a minimum body mass index for girls appearing in their shows in an effort to discourage starvation diets and eating disorders.

    But bosses at London Fashion Week - which is now in full swing - have refused to follow suit. Eliana's death will add to the pressure on the industry.
    The sisters' devastated family said Luisel, 20, had been told she could "make it big" if she lost a "significant" amount of weight and was "under much pressure and stress".

    It appears her sister followed in her footsteps after collapsing at the home she shared with her grandmother.
    She was found dead in her bedroom in her Montevideo home in Uruguay on Tuesday. A police source said: "The primary diagnosis is death due to symptoms of malnutrition."
    Her grandmother, who discovered her body, wept: "This has happened to me twice. The girl would not wake up. I went into the house and saw her eyes blank and her knees tucked up."
    Several months ago Eliana, who was 5ft 7in tall, weighed 8st 10lb and had a BMI just over the minimum 18 set by Madrid fashion bosses.

    But recently she had apparently been losing weight rapidly, although it was unclear whether she had been doing so deliberately to further her career.
    She was spotted by modelling scouts when she was 16 and became one of the leading girls on the books of major Argentine agency Dotto Models.
    Eliana's boss Pancho Dotto said of her death: "It is absurd that people are speaking about anorexia or bulimia in this tragic case.
    "She had never had problems with her diet. It is obvious the sisters' deaths must be due to a genetic problem."

    Eliana's death also comes three months after Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, 21, died of anorexia on the eve of a Paris photoshoot after existing on a diet of apples and tomatoes. A spokesman for the British Fashion Council, which organises London Fashion Week, said it was aware of Eliana's death but did not want to speculate on its cause. It insisted that regulation is neither "desirable nor enforceable".
  2. :cry: when are they going to stop talking and DO SOMETHING!? It's so unbelievably tragic. . . what is all this for? To be the skinniest?
    I'm glad a couple of fashion houses seem to care, but a few isn't enough.
  3. That is so sad, R.I.P :sad: I feel really bad for their parents, loosing two daughters from what appears to be the same cause in less than a year. But am I the only one that suspects that they may have had a heart failiure? I know people get heart attacks from having eating disorders, but two sisters both dying from it isn't that common?
  4. That's so heartbreaking. Her poor family.

    She had a bmi over 18...and died of anorexia.
    So clearly this new bmi system while a very good start, is not going to be accurate or a tell-tale sign that they are actually anorexic.
  5. ^

    I don't think she died of anorexia. This article is out of hand. YES she might've died of an EATING DISORDER, which may lead to malnutrition, but not anorexia. Anorexians do not have a BMI of 18, one of the "requirements" for having such a diagnosis is that you have to be underweight.In that picture she looks nothing out of the ordinary skinny. I'm not saying she diden't have an eating disorder and that it might've had elements of anorexia but "cause of death" is not "BMI 18". A BMI 18 isen't not neccessarily that uncommon among teens due to growth etc. Also since her sister died of the same it seems like there's some kind of inherited stuff going on.
  6. So sad. But the powers that be don't really care. They will continue to make women feel that they must lose more weight in order to be successful.

    At any rate, I don't think BMI is really a good indicator of whether someone is anorexic.
  7. Not to get into this too much, but a person who weighs 200 pounds can in fact be anorexic- anorexia also refers to the way you eat, rather don't eat. Generally speaking an anorexic person is 15% below their normal body weight, but someone will typically start in anorexic habits when they are above their normal body weight. It takes into account calories, mental psyche, and other aspects, not just that your bones hang out. And a BMI of 18 is the lowest cusp before you are underweight, some people's natural BMI would never reach 18.
  8. :yes: You are not technically anorexic until your bmi is below 17.5 but the article states rapid weight loss, so its totally possible she was starving herself to death. It also doesn't mean that after a few more months of doing so that she would have been deemed anorexic by a doctor.

    What is it they do to ballerinas to test them for anorexia? is it something to do with bone mass...they do it to their feet...
  9. This is just a tragic story. I hope 'people' and the industry and EVERYONE begins to take this all much more seriously.
  10. it's hard to tell from her photo if she's too thin as she's in layers of clothing . . .
    but Megs is right.
    Maybe she didn't starve to death this time, but she certainly could've died from complications of the disease.
    I'm scared of what my daughter stands to go through in this era. . . she's 5 now and I fear the battles we could possibly face over the next 10+ yrs.
    I am VERY conscious of making sure I don't complain about my body when she's around and I refuse to talk to DH in front of her about her eating habits.

    She's 5 and OFF THE CHARTS on height and weight, I don't want her to be self-conscious about it. . . people make comments all the time;
    "How old are you?"

    "I'm 5! I'm in Kindergarten!!"

    "Oh WOW! I thought you were at least 7! You're such a tall girl!"
  11. I know that the "disease" starts bafore you hit BMI 18 -> but clinically the diesease isen't called anorexia before someone is underweight. What I think is bad is that people autimatically blame anorexia all the time. There are related diseases (which probably this girl had) that can be more severe because they aren't discovered before it's too late! Perhap she struggeled with bullimia? Heart problems are more common among people with that disorder than anorexia and it can be far tougher on the body compared to "mild" anorexia (I assume she diden't have "severe anorexia as her body was at BMI 18). I think it's stupid to "scream" anorexia all the time. It makes just as much sense as calling fever diarea. Generally EDs are very dangerous, just like this shows, but by labelling everthing anorexia it waters out both the name of that disease and other diseases and may give people the wrong impression of what really goes on. A lot of people with EDs struggle with a lot of different aspects which may involve elements from many diagnosis'. This is getting beside the point though, sorry for my rant... I'm not really disagreeing with you megs, but I just think it's important that starving is not the only symptom and it's not neccessarily the hardest on the body.
  12. So sad.
  13. I feel so bad for them.
  14. this is so sad, i really hope that they can all learn from this, especially the fashion industry... eating disorder can be fatal... i think they shd give out a message that being healthy and inner beauty is wht natural beauty is all about..
  15. Swanky, when my niece was around 14, there was a family member (male) who would always make comments about her weight. She would never respond. ALL OF A SUDDEN, she started losing so much weight in such a small amount of time. We knew there was a "problem". Her grandmother called me and other females in my family and we had an "intervention" with her. Thank God that she listened to us!! Some women are just predisposed to have a certain body type. It doesn't matter how much they exercise...

    Your daughter will be fine.:heart: