THE number of Instagram posts that glamorise eating disorders is “spiralling out of control”, psychiatrists have warned.
Kids are swapping graphic content that promotes anorexia and bulimia on the social media network.
Getty Psychiatrists have warned the number of Instagram posts glamorising eating disorders is ‘spiralling out of control’
The BBC found images of emaciated young women and instructions on how to keep extreme dieting hidden from parents.
Instagram has faced pressure to clean up its content since Molly Russell, 14, took her own life after viewing self-harm images in 2017.
Dr Jon Goldin, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, warned that posts could influence vulnerable children looking for peer groups online.
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“It’s deeply worrying and to some extent the situation is spiralling out of control,” he added.
“Young people with eating disorders are quite vulnerable, they are often socially isolated, they don’t have friends and they are looking for a peer group.”
Tara Hopkins, head of public policy at Instagram, said: “We do not and have never allowed content that encourages or promotes eating disorders and will remove it as soon as we are made aware of it.
“As a result of the ongoing expert review into our approach to all self injury content, which includes eating disorders, we expect to make some adjustments to our policy enforcement, including classifying more content as promotion, so more is removed.
“This is a complex area and experts have been clear in telling us that it is not something we should rush.
“Many people recovering from eating disorders use Instagram in a positive way to get support themselves and support others with recovery. It is important that we act responsibly to get it right.”
Student Connie Inglis who was given weeks to live due to her severe anorexia says she used social media to spread a body positive message