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02nd Jul 2021

Pinterest bans ads promoting weight loss and referencing BMI

Sarah McKenna Barry

The ban is part of the platform’s move to create a safe and inclusive space for all users.

Pinterest, the image sharing platform, has made history as the first major social media company to ban all advertisements relating to weight loss.

Previously, Pinterest wouldn’t allow content that is body-shaming, or content that features dangerous weight loss claims or products, but their latest move takes that one step further.

Aya Kanai, the company’s head of content, outlined that the platform will now prohibit ads that “discuss weight loss, reference BMI, or show before-and-after-imagery or imagery that idealizes certain body types and features.”

Kanai explained that the decision to ban weight loss advertisements is part of the company’s Creator Code, which aims to make Pinterest an inclusive and safe space for its users.

Kanai said: “As our base continues to grow, we are always evaluating how we can continue to maintain the platform’s positivity and inclusivity—advertisements that promote weight loss or idealize certain body types can be harmful triggers, so this new ban helps us to ensure that Pinners of all body types feel at home when they’re on Pinterest.”

The head of content did stipulate that this ban only applies to paid advertisement content.

“Pinners will continue to be able to search for inspiration on healthy eating and exercise tips to support them on whichever fitness or nutrition journey they choose,” Kanai explained.

She added that Pinterest’s community guidelines still prohibits content that could encourage eating disorders or self-harm of any kind.

“Whenever Pinners search for keywords related to eating disorders, we block search results and direct them to expert organizations, like National Eating Disorders Association, so they can find additional resources.”

This move establishes Pinterest as a social media platform with one of the strictest policies regarding weight loss content. Other companies that address potentially body-shaming content include Facebook and TikTok.

Pinterest weight loss

Facebook prohibits health and fitness ads that use side-by-side, before-and-after imagery.

TikTok’s advertisement policy has an outright ban on fasting apps and weight-loss supplements. Additionally, TikTok prevents weight management products from using content that could “promote a negative body image or a negative relationship with food”.

These ads are also unable to target anyone under the age of 18.

If you have been affected by any of the details in this story you can contact Bodywhys on 01-2107906 or email