Pinterest just banned weight loss ads, becoming first social platform to do so

Pinterest icon on smartphone

Pinterest announced that it’s banning weight loss ads from the platform starting July 1, a move that the company says makes it the first major social network to bid adieu to weight loss language and imagery in their advertising.

The new policy also bans advertising with “[a]ny language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types.” “Body shaming, such as imagery or language that mocks or discredits certain body types or appearances,” is already banned in ads under their current policy. The new policy also axes references to body mass index, or BMI, and testimonials about weight loss or weight loss products.

The company says ads that promote a healthy lifestyle and fitness services and products are still allowed, “as long as they don’t focus on weight loss.”

“Pinterest is the place people come for inspiration to create life they love,” the announcement reads. “It’s where everyone belongs — regardless of body shape or size.”

The change comes amid an ever-growing body positivity movement that embraces celebrating bodies of all shapes, sizes and abilities. Pinterest made the policy change based on guidance from the National Eating Disorders Association, or NEDA, which started seeing increased activity on their helpline at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Person looks at Pinterest on iPad

“The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) applauds Pinterest for taking a leadership position as the first platform to prohibit all ads with weight-loss language and imagery,” Elizabeth Thompson, interim CEO for the National Eating Disorders Association, said in a statement. “NEDA is encouraged by this necessary step in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of Pinners, especially those impacted by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders.”

NEDA’s helpline is open for online chats Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern. You can call the helpline at 800-931-2237 Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, and on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern. They’re piloting a texting program through the same phone number Mondays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern.

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About the Author
Jenn Fields
Jenn Fields serves as Simplemost Media’s managing editor from Colorado, where she worked as a reporter and editor, on staff and as a freelancer, at newspapers and magazines. After earning her master’s from University of Missouri’s journalism school, Jenn worked in community journalism for 10 years, writing and editing for the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post. Over her 20-year career, she has covered a diverse range of topics, including travel, health and fitness, outdoor sports and culture, climate science, religion and plenty of other fascinating topics.

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