NHS boss says celebrities who cash in by peddling ‘quick fix’ fad diets to their millions of social media followers are putting youngsters’ health at risk and should have their accounts shut down
- NHS director Prof Stephen Powis said celebrities are peddling harmful products
- Stars such as Kim Kardashian and Katie Price are paid to promote diet fads
- Unproven products may have ingredients that cause stomach pains and diarrhea
Celebrities cashing in by peddling fad diets to young people on social media should have their accounts ‘stamped out’, warns country’s top doctor.
Social media giants should stop dodgy endorsements that could put young people’s health at risk.
Among products were detox teas, skinny coffee and appetite suppressant sweets – many of which contain ingredients that cause stomach pains, diarrhea and nausea.
Kim Kardashian was paid to promote weightloss lollipops that may be harmful on her Instagram
Katie Price promotes health supplement products. Social media giants should stop dodgy endorsements that could put young people’s health at risk
Sites such as Instagram are profiting from stars using these ‘quick fix’ treatments, says NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis.
Professor Stephen Powis, the National Medical Director of NHS England told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Where celebrities and the platforms which promote them exploit this vulnerability by pushing products like laxative teas, diet pills and other get-thin-quick solutions, they are taking the health of our young people in their hands and should act with far greater responsibility.
‘Online platforms should stamp out accounts which exploit this vulnerability, and ban adverts for products with a known health risk.’
Professor Powis said the health service is doing its utmost to help the one in 10 young people who are affected by mental health problems including depression and anxiety.
Lauren Goodger was paid to promote ‘skinny coffee’. Many of these products are unproven and cause stomach pains
Sites such as Instagram are profiting from stars using these ‘quick fix’ treatments such Kim Kardashian with meal replacement shakes
But he stressed the NHS ‘can’t keep putting out fires if some parts of society keep lighting matches’.
He said young people are being ‘bombarded’ with ideas, images and advertising which set an unrealistically high bar for what they should look and feel like – however there is little accountability for the impact it has.
Last week, the Competition and Markets Authority revealed 16 celebrity ‘influencers’ including Rita Ora and Michelle Keegan, have agreed to be upfront when they are being paid to plug a product.
They are now required to make it clear whether they have been paid, gifted or have bought the item themselves.
Failing to do so could land them in court.
A spokesperson for Instagram said it takes user wellbeing seriously and it removes risky ads, particularly if they target under 18s.
Vicky Pattison pictured promoting a juice cleanse. Among products were detox teas, skinny coffee and appetite suppressant sweets
Professor Stephen Powis, the National Medical Director of NHS England said young people are being ‘bombarded’ with ideas, images and advertising which set an unrealistically high bar for what they should look and feel like