Kim Kardashian West has been roundly criticised for sharing a photo of herself sucking an appetite suppressant lollipop made by Flat Tummy Co in a promotion for the diet brand.
The reality TV star, who has three children, told her 111 million Instagram followers the lollipops were “literally unreal” and alerted them to a promotion the company was offering.
The 35-calorie sweets contain an active ingredient called Satiereal, a plant extract Flat Tummy Co claims helps prevent hunger pangs.
“They’re designed to be taken right when you get hit with those mid morning or late afternoon cravings!” the company’s marketing material says.
“So if you look at the clock and you’re still 2 hours away from lunch or dinner, grab a lollipop to help suppress your appetite and kick your cravings.”
The company says their lollipops work to “maximise satiety” which in turn “helps control food intake, cravings and weight”, but recommends eating no more than two a day.
It also sells products called “flat tummy tea” and “flat tummy shakes”, and bills itself as being “all about helping you get that tummy flat and keeping it that way”.
“You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product. They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipops and they’re literally unreal,” Kardashian West said on Instagram.
“They’re giving the first 500 people on their website 15% OFF so if you want to get your hands on some… you need to do it quick! #suckit,’ she wrote in the caption.”
But the 37-year-old has drawn fierce criticism for the post on social media – with critics arguing it promotes a negative message for young girls.
“Seriously? Why do you constantly choose to promote such a toxic message to your young, female followers? It’s disgraceful,” said one.
“Disappointed to see such a post from such an influential media icon. Eating isn’t shameful, our bodies aren’t shameful. We deserve better,” added another.
Kim Kardashian at Paris Fashion Week
“I, like you, am the mother of two daughters and I think promoting a product like this is deeply irresponsible on your part Kim,” another agreed.
“I’m really sad that Kim is using her influential platform to advertise appetite suppressants. Eat healthy and well people,” chimed in another.
British TV presenter Jameela Jamil was equally critical of the post, explaining it made her feel distressed her about what “women are reduced to”.
Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, author of Re-Nourish: A Simple Way to Eat Well, told The Independent warned Kardashian West’s endorsement may, along with others like it, have unwelcome consequences for those who follow her.
“Celebrities, no matter what they are famous for, are very influential people with millions of followers who watch their every move,” she said.
“When these celebs start promoting unhealthy behaviours, they can be taken very seriously by some people which may encourage or lead to disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food.
“It is incredibly sad to see posts that are liked by so many individuals, going against everything we as nutritionists are trying so hard to fight. Products such as ‘appetite suppressants’ have no place in a well-balanced diet.”
The Independent has contacted a representative of Kardashian West for comment.