Sugar Bear Hair gummies, waist trainers, Flat Tummy Tea — if a Kardashian is peddling something online, you know it's going to cause a stir. And Kim K's latest Instagram #ad is really pissing people off.
In the ad (which has already been deleted), Kim sucks on a lollipop and plugs Flat Tummy Co’s “appetite suppressant lollipops.” “You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product. They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipops and they’re literally unreal. 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.
The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil tweeted out screenshots of Kim's original post, calling her a "terrible and toxic influence on young girls."
She continued in another tweet, “MAYBE don’t take appetite suppressors and eat enough to fuel your BRAIN and work hard and be successful. And to play with your kids. And to have fun with your friends. And to have something to say about your life at the end, other than ‘I had a flat stomach.’”
Other people felt the same way:
So…let’s talk about these 'Flat Tummy' lollipops.
Flat Tummy Co. says that the lollipops contain an active ingredient called Satiereal, which they vaguely define as a “clinically proven safe active ingredient extracted from natural plants.” (It turns out that Satiereal is derived from the Crocus Sativus plant, and is a patented saffron extract, per Satiereal's website.)
According to Flat Tummy Co, Satiereal makes you feel full. “So, if you snack on them when you’re feeling hungry, it’ll suppress your appetite for a few hours!” Other than that, the first two ingredients in the lollipops are cane sugar and brown rice syrup so…sugar.
The lollipops come in grape, watermelon, something called yellow apple (what is that?!), and berry flavours, and the company recommends having no more than two lollipops a day. They specifically say that people should have them in the mid-morning or late afternoon to help with cravings.
Do 'Flat Tummy' lollipops work—and are they even safe?
“There is some evidence that the active ingredient, Satiereal, may help to curb cravings,” says Katherine Brooking, R.D., co-founder of nutrition website Appetite for Health.
She points to a small randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study published in the journal Nutrition Research in 2010, which found that healthy, slightly overweight women who took 176 milligrams a day of Satiereal in capsule form had more weight loss than those who didn’t. (Something to note: Flat Tummy Co. doesn't list the dosage of Satiereal in their lollipops.)
Brooking says that these lollipops are not necessarily harmful when taken as directed by overall healthy people.
Beth Warren, R.D., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl disagrees: "I’m always strongly hesitant to recommend supplements of this kind which do not have credible evidence to support its effects, where side effects or interactions with various medical conditions and medications aren’t clearly identified and publicised."
Also to keep in mind: These lollipops are considered supplements, which aren’t closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Meaning, there’s no way of knowing whether these things are safe to use, if they contain the ingredients they claim to, or if they’re safe to use for long periods of time.
Warren also notes that saffron—which comes from the same plant Satiereal is derived from—is "one of the top seven more fraudulent foods," per the USP Food Fraud Database, (which means what you're getting might not be real saffron, or Satiereal) at all.
Should you try these lollipops?
But honestly, "appetite suppressant lollipops" edge very close to disordered eating territory—which is why so many people took issue with them.
If you’re struggling with overeating or just aren’t feeling full after you eat, Brooking recommends you take a closer look at your diet. Incorporating more high-protein foods (fish, beef, chicken, and eggs), healthy fats (nuts and avocado), and soluble fiber (oats, oat bran, barley, beans, and chia seeds) can help you feel fuller, says Brooking, as well as cutting your food into bite-sized portions and eating smaller portions to help you slow down and eat more mindfully.
Bottom line: While they may not be straight-up dangerous, appetite suppressant lollipops aren't a healthy part of any diet—and there are def better-for-you ways to reduce cravings.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.