Instagram bans 'miracle' diet product promotions by celebrities and influencers

Mike Wright
Instagram said it was also age restricting cosmetic surgery and other diet product promotions for under 18s - AP

‘Miracle’ diet product promotions are being banned by Instagram, the social media giant has announced amid growing criticism over celebrities pushing ‘get thin quick’ remedies.

The company said it will now remove any posts that make “miraculous” claims about weight loss and are linked to a commercial promotion.

Instagram also said it would start hiding promotions for cosmetic surgery and other diet products from under 18s. The new policies will also apply to across Facebook, which owns Instagram.

The move comes as Instagram has faced mounting pressure over celebrities making money from sponsored posts for quick-fix diet products.

Last year, US reality star Kim Kardashian, who has 148 million Instagram followers, was criticised for promoting an appetite-suppressing lollipop on her account.   

Kim Kardashian was criticised for a sponsored Instagram post last year promoting appetite-suppressing lollipops Credit: Instagram

Earlier this year, Stephen Powis, the NHS’s medical director, called on tech giants to rein in celebrities “pushing products like laxative teas, diet pills and other get-thin-quick solutions” on “vulnerable” young people.

Following yesterday’s announcement, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Every business should put a premium on its customers’ well-being and it’s welcome that social media giants are beginning to listen to NHS calls to rein in harmful or misleading content that could harm users’ health.

“The NHS is ramping up prevention and treatment for mental as well as physical health through our Long Term Plan. Cracking down on ads for get-slim-quick pills, misleading health advice and content that can inflame concerns about body image is what responsible companies routinely now all do.”

Announcing the ban, Instagram said it was responding to growing trend of celebrities and ‘influencers’ with large followings posting promotions for diet products. The tech firm said it had never allowed companies to promote such products with direct adverts.

Emma Collins, UK Public Policy Manager, Instagram said “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.”