TikTok and Instagram: Stop Pushing Extreme Weight Loss and Exercise on Kids!

Shouzi Chew, CEO of TikTok and Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram

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How to eat 300 calories a day. How to look like “The Corpse Bride”. How to get a "gorilla chest" and "Popeye arms". These are all real videos TikTok and Instagram are actively pushing on kids! The pressure on kids to succumb to diet culture and engage in dangerous weight loss and unhealthy exercise activities is overwhelming. TikTok and Instagram must stop pushing extreme weight loss and dangerous exercise content on kids immediately!

The number of kids being hospitalized for eating disorders has significantly risen in the last couple of years, and the National Eating Disorder Helpline reports a 40% increase in calls. These are deadly diseases for kids – anorexia has a 10% death rate, higher than any other mental illness. Across the country, thousands of young people are speaking out about how videos on TikTok and Instagram sparked or spurred their illnesses.    

Social media is a nightmare for kids struggling with food. The Wall Street Journal recently discovered thousands of pro-eating disorder and extreme weight loss videos being pushed on teens, which included tips on how to eat less than 300 calories a day, purge with laxatives, and fast for days on only water. Similarly, internal research has shown Instagram pushes pro-anorexia content to teen girls from accounts like “_skinandbones__,” “applecoreanorexic.” The New York Times also recently released an investigation of TikTok's role in promoting muscle dysmorphia, or "bigorexia" in young boys.

TikTok and Instagram must stop pushing this dangerous content on kids immediately.


To: Shouzi Chew, CEO of TikTok and Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram
From: [Your Name]

Dear Shouzi Chew and Adam Mosseri,

TikTok and Instagram are fueling deadly eating disorders and unhealthy exercises habits for kids. The number of children being hospitalized for eating disorders has doubled in the last couple of years, and the National Eating Disorder Helpline reports a 40% increase in calls. Anorexia has a 10% death rate, higher than any other mental illness. Wall Street Journal research and Meta’s own internal research have both found your platforms actively push at-risk kids down dangerous content rabbit holes that teach them how to starve and hurt themselves. This is unacceptable. As parents and children’s advocates, we demand that you immediately stop serving dieting and weight loss content and dangerous exercise ads to children’s accounts.