You may be aware of a not-so-new trend of weight loss teas
. Some brands include Flat Tummy Tea, Skinnyfit Tea, Slimming Teatox and a bunch of other slightly different worded silly names. They are mosty advertised on Instagram by celebrities like the Kardashians. The problem is that there is no science behind the tea's claims AND they are specifically targeting young women
who are particularly susceptible to this kind of false advertising that preys on insecurities instilled by a broken society. Sign now to demand that the myriad federal agencies meant to protect us against false and dangerous advertising do their job and regulate this dangerous industry.
This issue has gotten a lot of attention lately because The Good Place's Jameela Jamil
has made it her mission to call out fellow celebrities for their dangerous messages. She points out that the "active ingredient" in these "detox teas" is literally just a laxative.
She also said she hopes the celebrities who promote these products "shit their pants in public," like their users do, which was pretty funny.
The companies skate around advertising rules by using the fine print to say things like "this hasn't been evaluated by the FDA" and using clever wording to hide the fact that there is zero science to prove their tea does anything but give a person diarhhea.
But set aside the fact that the tea doesn't do what it says it does for a minute. We are letting public figures sell diet culture — which we know to be extremely dangerous to our health — to our most vulnerable
. By promoting intentional weight loss, we are actively promoting weight stigma, which has measured negative health consequences
. In fact, weight stigma can explain most, if not all, of the health risks we associate with obesity. And all this doesn't even touch the rates of disordered eating that advertisements and products like these fuel. It's time to question our beliefs that thin equals healthy and realize what science is telling us: weight stigma is the problem, not weight.If we want to raise resilient, self-posessed and healthy young people, especially women, it's our job to weed our dangerous messaging by holding our institutions accountable. That's why we think this insidious trend of detox or weight loss teas being advertised must stop.
So many companies profit from the bodily insecurity they create, especially when it comes to younger women, and it's our responsibility to dismantle false claims. The "influencers" who promote these so-called weight loss and detox teas have very young audiences who may already be struggling with their changing bodies in a society that wants them to hate themselves.
There are a number of institutions meant to protect us from this stuff: the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Advertising Standards Authority and the National Advertising Division — a part of the Better Business Bureau. And despite warnings
and even some actions
, these dangerous advertisements are still making it onto Instagram. That's why we are asking these four agencies to step up to the plate, do their jobs and get these ads out of here. Will you join us?