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Pinterest bans weight loss ads after increase in searches for “body acceptance”

Language that "idealizes" certain body types is now banned.
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Pinterest announced a total ban on weight-loss ads that took effect on July 1.

The new policy prohibits all ads with “language or images promoting weight loss,” as well as references to Body Mass Index (BMI), or related indexes. The platform also banned language or images idealizing or denigrating certain body types, and testimonials on weight-loss and weight-loss products.

The policy has banned:

  • “Any weight loss language or imagery;
  • Any testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products;
  • Any language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types;
  • Referencing Body Mass Index (BMI) or similar indexes; and
  • Any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin”

The platform will continue to allow ads for fitness products and services, as well as ads for products and services promoting healthy lifestyles, as long as they do not promote weight-loss.

According to Pinterest, its users have a positive attitude towards body neutrality, citing a dramatic increase in searches for “body neutrality” and related terms such as “body acceptance,” “stop body shaming,” and “healthy mindset,” over the past year.

The platform said it will highlight pins related to body neutrality on the Today Tab in an effort to “showcase those reimagining the relationship with their bodies.”

The platform worked with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to develop the new policy. Pinterest is the first mainstream platform to ban weight loss ads, and is calling on other companies to follow suit.

According to CDC statistics, from 1999 –2000 through 2017 –2018, US obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 42.4% and obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer – being among the leading causes of preventable, premature death.

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