Following a petition by UK actress Jameela Jamil, Instagram has announced a new policy that will limit the visibility of weight loss products and cosmetic surgeries for minors on Instagram.

Buzzfeed reports that Instagram will restrict users who are known to be under the age of 18 from viewing posts that promote the use of certain weight loss products and cosmetic procedures, including posts that have an incentive for users to buy products or include a price.

According to this report, while Instagram is leading this new policy, Facebook users will be affected too.

This announcement comes after Jameela started an online petition directed at Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to “stop celebrities promoting toxic diet products on social media”. The petition has been signed by more than 240 000 people.

Jameela has been very open about her struggles with eating disorders, saying she was very influenced by celebrities as a teen. She says, “Celebrities who promote and endorse weight loss aids for payment do so because brands have realised how influential their posts are with young people.”

The actress has spent much of her time speaking out against celebrities who have advertised diet products like detox teas and appetite suppressant snacks on social media including celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West, Amber Rose and Cardi B who have promoted weight loss products.

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Under the organisation she founded, I Weigh, Jameela advocated for what she calls “radical inclusivity” and encouraged her followers to not be ashamed of themselves. She has been working with the photo sharing app to establish this policy and took to her Instagram page to express her delight and pride.

“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. And this is just the beginning of our efforts," says Jameela.

She adds, “This happened so much faster than I expected and I’m so proud and happy and relieved. Well done to the many people who have been working towards this huge change. This is a mass effort. This is an extraordinary win that is going to make a big difference. Influencers have to be more responsible.”

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In a statement quoted in The Guardian, Instagram’s public policy manager Emma Collins says, “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.”

But weight loss posts are very popular on Instagram, with almost 8 million posts tagged “weight loss transformation”.

Do you think this new policy will be successful in weeding out dangerous weight loss methods and procedures on platform? Let us know here

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