Instagram has announced that they’ll no longer be showing posts pushing diet products or cosmetic procedures to users under the age of 18. The new policy, made possible with the help of Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh movement, means that the likelihood of teenagers coming into contact with detox and diet products will be dramatically reduced, as they’ll no longer be visible on their feeds.
According to I Weigh’s post about the victory alongside IG, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported 23,000 emergency room admissions every year as a result of dietary supplements. What’s even more terrifying is that over half of those admissions are patients between the ages of 5 and 19 who have been directly affected by the use of weight loss and energy supplements. With Instagram being the most active social media platform amongst Gen Z users, the removal of these kinds of posts will hopefully help reduce the amount of exposure teenagers have to dangerous products that can cause longterm impact.
The culture around detox teas and miracle products puts countless numbers of people in a vulnerable position, encouraging them to use products that they know very little about – namely their dodgy side affects. The American Academy of Pediatrics even issued a report stating that under no circumstance should teenagers be using these types of weight loss products – regardless of how much they weigh.
It’s also recommended that users over the age of 18 can report any posts pushing products or procedures in order for them to be removed from their feed.
Instagram taking the opportunity to safeguard their young users is a win that we should definitely be celebrating, however - in the grand scheme of things - this is just a small step in the right direction. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Founder and Editor of The Unedit