Health and Wellness

New Instagram feature allows users to remove weight loss and weight control ads from their feeds

A person using Instagram.
Lorenzo Di Cola | NurPhoto via Getty Images

Instagram updated its Sensitive Content Control feature on June 6, and now users can filter out weight loss related ads on their news feeds.

The update widens the feature that Instagram introduced last summer by allowing users to filter content on more than just their Explore page.

"In addition to Explore, you will now be able to control the amount of sensitive content and accounts you see in Search, Reels, Accounts You Might Follow, Hashtag Pages and In-Feed Recommendations," the company wrote in its statement.

The "body weight control" topic is the latest to be included on the list of topics that can be filtered out of users' daily feeds. Other social media apps have made similar decisions in recent years. TikTok banned fasting app ads and restricted advertisements from promoting 'negative body image' in 2020.

It's unclear if Instagram was following TikTok's lead or made its changes as a result of a petition created by body neutral influencer, Katie Budenberg.

Last year, Budenberg created a petition to encourage Instagram to include an option for filtering weight loss ads in its Sensitive Content Control feature. In the petition's description, she wrote, "To some, these ads may be harmless and they can scroll on but for some these ads are triggering and dangerous."

The petition received over 30,000 supporters, and less than a year later, Instagram updated the feature. In a post on the app, Budenberg shared a graphic informing her followers of the change and listed steps for them to take to filter out weight loss content on their news feeds. 

"I don't know if it was us, I don't know if Instagram just came to their senses, but most importantly - WE CAN NOW ASK TO NOT SEE WEIGHT LOSS ADS," she wrote in her caption.

If this is a change that you'd like reflected on your personal Instagram account, here are the steps you can take:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Choose the menu icon in the upper right-hand corner
  3. Click Settings
  4. Tap Ads
  5. Go to Ad topics
  6. In the "Search all topics" toolbar, search for "body weight control"
  7. Click the topic
  8. Select "see less"

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