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Instagram's ban on weight loss ads is good, but not good enough

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The scales are weighted against us.

On one side, we have an awful lot of people who dislike their bodies, making them vulnerable to the marketing of the dodgy diet industry, which sits at the other side with its fat profits (approaching $279 billion).

The weight loss industry won't change, but we can.Credit:Getty Images

There have been some small attempts to redress the power imbalance. In September, Instagram and Facebook announced they would block posts promoting weight loss products and cosmetic surgery to under 18s.

It’s a good step, but it’s not good enough.

The restrictions were in response to growing concerns about the impact on teens' mental health and body image, but what about the rest of us? Many adults are also falling prey to the fallacy that if only we lose weight we will be happy/healthy/worthy.

I’m a 38-year-old woman and there is still a sad little voice in my head that says I’m only worthy of being looked at and loved if I’m a certain size. This arbitrary external goal historically led me to withhold food from myself or use it to punish my body. Not surprisingly, when I became sufficiently small, apart from a brief rush, the satisfaction and self-worth were not........

© The Age