Regulate Health Information On Social Media
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With celebrities freely endorsing dangerous “diet products” such as appetite suppressant lollipops, diet pills, skinny tea, injectable weight loss medication and IV drips that cause severe abnormalities and risks, such as cardiac irregularities electrolyte imbalance, diarrhoea and an increase preoccupation and body dissatisfaction, social media poses a serious threat to physical and mental health which has resulted in fatalities.
The lack of regulation in the public domain and the fact that we know that influencers are receiving financial reward for “promoting” these products poses a serious threat to both mental and physical well being.
Young people cite social media as their main source of health information and the biggest influencers on social media have no nutrition or medical qualifications and therefore no accountability for the danger they put their followers in.
The power of social media is having a severely detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of our nation and in some cases, is causing irreversible harm and even death.
Dietitians have seen a marked increase in cases of eating disorders, self harm, nutritional deficiencies and life threatening medical complications as a direct result of the advertising and promotion of products and diets via social media.
Leading dietitians Sophie Medlin and Hala El Shafie, with the support from The British Dietetic Association want to protect the public from false and potentially harmful nutrition and medical claims on social media.
By introducing regulations to prevent influencers from giving medical advice and a system to give qualified professionals a verification mark online, the public will be protected from harmful messaging and the young and vulnerable will know who to trust when using social media for medical information.
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