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Instagram restricts diet, surgery content

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Instagram has announced tighter restrictions on some posts related to diet products and cosmetic surgery.

The social media platform says that from Wednesday, age restrictions will be applied to some posts on both Instagram and Facebook, while others will now be removed.

Concerns have been raised about the impact that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content can have on young people, their mental health and body image.

Instagram said that under its new rules, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures that have an incentive to buy, or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content which makes a "miraculous" claim about a diet or weight-loss product and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code will now be removed from Instagram.

The company said its advertising policies have never allowed this type of promotion.

"We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media," Instagram public policy manager Emma Collins said.

"We've sought guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over one billion people around the world - whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion."

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