Fashion

Instagram’s new tool allows you to hide weight loss adverts from your feed – here’s how to do it

Instagram has finally taken a step to monitor potentially harmful weight loss content on the app, after calls from the likes of Jameela Jamil and body positivity campaigner Katie Budenberg.

The tool, which came in earlier this year, allows users to select ‘body weight control’ as an ad topic they want to “see less” of, avoiding triggering content such as detox teas and weight loss plans.

Keen to make the change? We’ve got you. On your Instagram profile page, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Ads’ and ‘Ad Topics’. In the drop down list, you should be able to find ‘body weight control’, and other similar topics. When you click on them, select ‘see less’ to remove them from your feed.

In the intro to her change.org petition, Katie Bundenberg writes: “It’s no secret that the aim of a weight-loss ad is to make you feel inadequate in your body so that you are persuaded to pay the company large amounts of money to help you lose weight. To some, these ads may be harmless and they can scroll on but for some these ads are triggering and dangerous.”

She adds: “This is why we are asking that Instagram adds the option to not see weight loss ads; this setting already exists for other potentially triggering topics, such as alcohol and parenting, and should be extended to weight-loss. This setting would make Instagram a safer, and therefore a more inclusive, place for those with a history of disordered eating and/or body image issues.”

The change has been welcomed by many. “This is super helpful. I couldn’t find ‘body weight control’ but was able to select ‘see less’ on other things like specific weight loss products, probiotic brands I had been seeing a lot of, cleanses, diet advice, and other unhelpful content,” one wrote on a post from the National Eating Disorders Association.

Others have responded that the process is complicated. “Can’t find ‘body weight control’. Is there another phrase?,” one writes. Helpfully, plenty of friendly Instagrammers have advised on the easiest way to remove weight loss ads from your feed – by typing general topics in the search bar.

“I searched ‘diet’ and then ‘weight loss’ and found plenty to filter,” one writes.

Unfortunately, you may still see some weight loss-adjacent adverts popping up on your Instagram feed despite opting out, so it’s not a total solution as yet. The Instagram Help Centre confirms: “If you choose to see less of an ad topic, you won’t get as many ads about that topic, and advertisers can’t target you based on your interest in it. You may still see some ads related to these topics even if you chose to see less of them. If you do see an ad related to a topic that you chose to see fewer of, you can hide the ad and we’ll use your feedback to improve the relevance of the ads you see.”