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Kim Kardashian, Perez Hilton, Cardi B, Kylie Jenner, and other celebrities have promoted weight-loss products such as diet teas and “appetite-suppressing lollipops” on social media. Not only do most of these products not work, they often do more harm than good. After months of public backlash, Instagram recently announced that it would restrict posts that promote such products.
A new feature was rolled out last week that allows users to report posts they believe promote weight-loss products and cosmetic procedures to those under 18. Two things can then happen: Either Instagram will restrict minors from seeing posts that encourage people to buy a product or procedure or, in the case of deceptive claims about a product and links to a commercial offer such as a discount code, Instagram will remove it from the site.
“We have given a lot of thought to the impact that the promotion of products on Instagram such as diet teas, supplements, and certain cosmetic surgeries can have [on our users],” an Instagram spokesperson told Cosmopolitan. “We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.”
“After a bunch of shouting, screaming, and petitioning… we have managed to get the attention of the people at the top, and they have heard us and want to protect us,” Jamil said in an Instagram post. “And this is just the beginning of our efforts.”
We wholeheartedly support Instagram’s move. Most of the celebrity-endorsed diet teas contain the herb senna, which can irritate the large intestine and create a laxative-like effect on the body. Senna has been linked to dehydration, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and more.
This may be the first time Instagram itself has rolled out a feature to combat these posts, but claims that these diet teas can help with weight loss have gotten celebrities and companies in hot water in the past. In one case back in 2015, Triple Leaf Tea Inc. agreed to change its labeling practices on such products following a class-action lawsuit filed by consumers.
Here’s the simple truth: Any expert in the field will tell you that there’s no one ingredient that will make you lose weight. It takes consistent exercise, proper nutrition, and dedication to make it happen. Perhaps our favorite celebrities will start endorsing something like HIIT routines or clean eating instead of slimming teas.