Eating Disorders and Social Media

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 1st March 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Boff Andrew Boff Conservative

Social Media companies have a duty of responsibility to ensure that their platforms are safe for people of all ages. Over the last few years we are seeing more and more “wellness influencers” sharing dangers fitness and diet advice which individuals are using. In some cases, this has triggered extremely unhealthy relationships with food and exercise. What can the Mayor do to ensure that this is being monitored in London so that only accurate information is being shared?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

All Londoners should be able to benefit from an environment – both physical and online – that support their health and wellbeing.

Reports that social media trends are contributing to Londoners developing eating disorders are deeply concerning.

Through my Health Inequalities Strategy I have committed to Londoners having an equal opportunity to good mental health and wellbeing and knowledge of support. Last year I invested £70,000 in expanding Good Thinking’s digital mental health support offer to young Londoners, which includes information, advice and support for young people, parents and carers affected by an eating disorder. I am also ensuring that London’s Youth Mental Health First Aiders are offered supplementary training around eating disorders and other conditions through supplementary training.

We know from the vaccine rollout how dangerous misinformation can be, especially for Londoners who may experience greater risk to their health and wellbeing. It is vital that Londoners have access to accurate and trusted information and I will raise this issue in my next conversation with London’s Health and Care leaders.