Instagram adds more help to support those with eating disorders

The company will point users to local helplines and information from NEDA.


Instagram is introducing new features to help point those struggling with an eating disorder in the right direction. When someone tries to search for content related to topics like eating disorder recovery, they'll first see links to resources the company has built with help from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), in addition to links to local helplines in Australia, Canada and the UK.

Similarly, when someone tries to share said content or if their friends see them post something concerning, they'll see the same set of resources. The company will allow people to contact their friends for support from the resource landing page. As before, Instagram will continue to blur out content it thinks may trigger someone with an eating disorder.

The features broadly mirror the ones TikTok announced earlier in the day — though in Instagram's case, it was already nudging users to more general help before today's announcement. Pinterest likewise announced similar measures, saying it would direct its users to resources from NEDA, in addition to promoting events and roundtables around National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. For Instagram, this is the third year in a row the company has partnered with the organization for NEDAwarness Week. The two plan to share Reels that will encourage body positivity. Outside of the immediate future, the company says it will continue working with experts to shape its policy on the topic.

While all social media services struggle with body positivity to some extent, Instagram, as one of the largest social networks on the planet, is in some ways the poster child for the problem. And at the times, the company hasn't done the best job of supporting those who have tried to spread more inclusive messages on what constitutes a beautiful body.