In one of the first official initiatives of its kind in the world, an Australian state government has declared war on the way women are portrayed by the fashion industry and will attempt to regulate it. The New South Wales Government made the decision in response to crisis figures that showed 1,500 young women died in the state each year from the eating disorders bulimia and anorexia, and 7,500 were annually diagnosed with anorexia. Officials and doctors will summon fashion and advertising professionals to a special panel to be convened in August, and will demand that the industry end 'the glamorisation of unhealthy behaviour' - a reference to the use of skinny models. The state's Minister for Health, Dr Andrew Refshauge, said: 'The portrayal of women as being thin . . . certainly does not help in any way young women coming to terms with their own body image.' The initiative comes less than three weeks after Australian Fashion Week, when the fashion industry's preference for skeletal models was nationally condemned. Organisers confessed that designers had demanded Australian size six models, or 'the thinnest girls available'. Models' protruding bones and cadaverous bodies dismayed many Australians, drew heavy media condemnation, and caused the New South Wales Minister for the Status of Women, Faye Lo Po, to denounce the industry's 'abuse and deprivation'. In the wake of the debate, a panel is expected to draw up an enforceable conduct code for designers and advertisers.