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TikTok removes posts promoting weight loss supplements

It is not the first time that the health authorities or scientists in a country warn that the consumption of supplements to lose weight are dangerous for people’s health. In 2019, a group of researchers published a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health which shows that in the United States Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System there were 977 records for dietary supplements.

In 2015, another scientific paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, estimated that around 23,000 people ended up in emergency departments each year from 2004 to 2013 in the UK for taking dietary supplements. The list of investigations in this regard and the warnings of the World Health Organization (WHO) on this problem could be endless.

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However, people continue to consume these supplements. In fact, as reported The viewer A few weeks ago, Marketdata Enterprises, an American research firm, reported that this market moved more than US$78 billion in 2019. How do they do it? A group of researchers from the journal Pharmaceutical Journal found that applications like TikTok allow the advertising of these products and other more dangerous ones.

TikTok and the sale of dietary supplements

A research carried out by the Pharmaceutical Journal found that users of the app were being offered prescription drugs such as migraine and epilepsy pills to lose weight. It is an appetite suppressant drug called “phentermine”. This drug, as well as products based on it, were the most frequently mentioned in the publications. Some have been linked to birth defects and other serious side effects.

Scientists discovered the advertising after registering on the app as a girl under the age of 16 and looking at ads for alcohol and addictions, in addition to medications for migraine and epilepsy. “During 90 minutes spent looking at the results on the platform, the magazine discovered that 31 of the 100 posts most popular promoted the use of diet pills for people who wanted to lose weight”, reported Guardian.

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Of the controversy, a TikTok spokesperson said: “Our community guidelines make it clear that we do not allow the promotion or trade of controlled substances, including prescription weight-loss drugs, and we will remove content that violates these policies.”

However, the magazine claimed that the app removed some videos, but not all of the ones they had found. In fact, in a quick search in an account of TikTok in Colombia hundreds of offers of these dietary supplements can be seen.

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Source: Elespectador

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