The United States surgeon general has warned that social media can have a “profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children”, calling for more regulations and research on minors’ use of internet platforms.

In a report released on Tuesday, Vivek Murthy – who acts as the top government spokesperson on public health and is known as the nation’s doctor – drew on existing research to outline social media’s effects on children.

The advisory highlighted potential harms to children and teens from social media use, including sleep deprivation, mental health issues, cyberbullying, access to extreme content and being susceptible to predatory behaviour from adults.

“Excessive and problematic social media use, such as compulsive or uncontrollable use, has been linked to sleep problems, attention problems, and feelings of exclusion among adolescents,” Murthy wrote.