Pinterest announced on Thursday, July 1 that it is updating its ad policies to prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery.

The social media platform said in a blog post that it created its new ad policy and the National Eating Disorders Association or NEDA.

The change was fueled by NEDA's recent research that shows the increase in eating disorders, unhealthy eating habits, and dangerous diets in young people, especially during the peak of the pandemic last year.

Pinterest's Weight Loss Ad Removal

In the blog post, Pinterest stated that the platform is where people come for inspiration to create the life they want.

Pinterest reiterated that the platform welcomes everyone, regardless of their body shape or size. They are empowering the users to plan for a life without weight loss ads to focus on their health and other aspects of their lives that matter more.

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The company added that it is the only major social media platform that will prohibit all weight-loss ads. The new ad rules will be built on the company's existing ad policies against body shaming and weight loss scams, according to Reuters.

In 2019, Instagram restricted weight loss content and removed certain types of cosmetic surgery from being seen by users who are under 18 years of age.

Change in Ad Rules

Starting Thursday, July 1, Pinterest will prohibit any weight loss language or imagery, testimonials from users and creators about the effectiveness of any weight loss products or weight loss hacks, and any language or imagery that idealizes certain body types. 

Pinterest will also prohibit referencing body mass index or any similar indices. Ads promoting weight loss pills and/or weight loss products and those content with before-and-after weight loss images will be removed.  

Even weight loss procedures such as fat burning or liposuction, body shaming, and any unrealistic claims about cosmetic surgery results are all banned from the platform, according to Engadget.

NEDA's Push for Body Positivity

Interim CEO for NEDA, Elizabeth Thompson, praised Pinterest's move to remove harmful weight loss contents.

Thompson said that NEDA is encouraged by the platform's step in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of the users, especially those who are negatively affected by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders.

Thompson added that they are hopeful that this policy will encourage other social media companies to reflect on the harmful ad messages posted on their platforms and establish their own working policies to create change.

Pinterest has always been one of the most forward-thinking social media platforms, especially when it comes to taking action against harmful or misleading content, according to NBC. 

In 2016, Pinterest prohibited ads for sensitive content, including inappropriate costumes and cultural appropriation. In 2018, Pinterest stopped running political ads.

In 2019, it was the first social media company to block anti-vaccination content to help prevent misinformation from spreading on its platform.

Earlier this year, Pinterest said that it would end the use of nondisclosure agreements or NDAs when employees leave the company after its former COO accused gender discrimination.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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