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A new report has called on advertising regulations to be bolstered in a bid to improve the body image of young people.

The work, published by the Healthy Body Image for Children and Young People Advisory Group, made a number of recommendations to improve the mental health of young people.

Commissioned by the Scottish Government last year to undertake the review following findings from the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, the report calls for stricter regulations on advertising aimed at young people and tighter restrictions on non-medical cosmetic procedures.

Improved training and guidance for fitness and beauty staff and a national campaign aimed at promoting good body image to young people were also touted by the advisory group.

The report also takes aim at social media, calling for more to be done to ensure so-called “influencers” make clear which of their material is paid for by companies, in compliance with guidance from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Julie Cameron, the co-chairwoman of the advisory group, said: “Our report highlights that an increasing number of young people are feeling stress, shame and unhappiness about their body image and that this is being influenced by many factors including advertising and social media portraying the idea of stereotypical beauty and how this leads to success and happiness.

“We believe it is possible to change this conversation and that by working together measures can be put in place to support young people and help them develop good body image, positive mental health and resilience.


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