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Pinterest bans weight loss ads

July 1, 2021, 3:58 PM UTC

Pinterest says it is banning all ads with weight loss language and imagery effective immediately.

The social media site on Thursday announced the shift in its ad policy, saying it hopes to help users embrace body acceptance.

“This stance makes Pinterest the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads,” the company said in a statement. “It’s an expansion of our ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims. We encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all.”

Pinterest had already banned ads for weight loss supplements and before-and-after weight loss imagery, but the new policy will prohibit any referencing of body mass index numbers, wearable weight loss products, and any product that uses weight loss language or imagery or features testimonials for weight loss.

The move comes as pandemic mental health issues have resulted in an apparent spike in eating disorders. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), which worked with Pinterest on the new ad policy, says it has experienced an increase in activity on its help line over the past 16 months.

While Pinterest claims to be the first to ban all weight loss ads, it’s not entirely alone in regulating the advertising. Last year, TikTok restricted ads for weight loss products and those that promoted “a negative body image or negative relationship with food.” Facebook and Instagram also do not allow ads with before-and-after imagery or that “imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception in order to promote diet, weight loss, or other health related products.”

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