The Butterfly Foundation warns of dangerous food content online

The Butterfly Foundation Has Been Investigating Social Media.
The Butterfly Foundation is investigating social media.

Dangerous videos have been shared on social media about restricted eating and exercise, while sponsored effective posts are promoting unsafe weight loss and muscle building methods, a powerful federal research warning has warned.

The Butterfly Foundation, Australia’s leading food disorder group, has told inquiries about social media and online security – announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison late last year – that it regularly monitors harmful content on platforms.

It is calling for the inclusion of presence-related threats in online harm laws and for a national inquiry into body image, as recently held in the UK.

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“Social media influencers on attendance-focused platforms play an important role in promoting the body’s unrealistic representation,” it writes in its submission.

“Many effective accounts offer their own heavily edited imagery, support products (which they pay to advertise) and promote ideas on ‘healthy lifestyles’ that may appeal to their followers but bear no resemblance to evidence-based health advice.”

The submission warns of dangerous videos being shared on social media where people are banned from dieting to lose excessive amounts.

The Butterfly Foundation Says It Regularly Seeks Out Harmful Content On Social Media.
The Butterfly Foundation says it regularly seeks out harmful content on social media.

“This type of content can encourage risky eating and exercise behaviors that are triggers for eating disorders,” it said.

It said they were alerted to organic and sponsored posts with harmful imagery.

“In this context, we see the promotion of highly unsafe weight-loss and / or muscle-building methods to influential audiences, such as children and adolescents,” he wrote.

The foundation also warned that other public health campaigns could include harmful framing and triggering materials for good intentions.

Post Deleted Later.
Post deleted later.
The Post Compares Food To Burning Time.
The post compares food to burning time.

An example of this is the now deleted post created in April by the West Sydney Local Health District in which foods were called “burning off”.

The post, which refers to “covid kilos”, shows that a mocha coffee takes 53 minutes to burn, while a muffin takes 48 minutes.

“While there is no problem with promoting physical activity, the term ‘burning off’ refers to food as a negative thing, while exercise is also framed in negative terms as a compensatory behavior,” the submission said, warning the person recovering from the eating disorder. Them in it.

“The content of this post was triggering for our community … This kind of thinking and compensatory behavior is the main feature of many eating disorders.”

A spokesman for the health district said they were committed to maintaining the right balance in communicating important lifestyle health advice to the community.

The Butterfly Foundation says it has worked tirelessly to improve security on social media platforms but has not received federal funding to do so.

“As a philanthropist, we have a small team of communication professionals from a large number of sources from social media companies and advertisers,” it said.

Federal Political Correspondent


Asleigh Gleeson is a federal political reporter for NCA NewsWire, having previously served as the staff of the national chief. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Daily Telegraph, where she also covered … Read more

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