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Pinterest announces it will ban all ads promoting weight loss

Madeline Dovi, DCNF

Pinterest announced it will ban all ads centered around weight loss, including ones that promote or degrade specific body types in a Thursday blog post.

The digital image-sharing site stated in the post that it will prohibit ads that include testimonials about weight loss, promote weight loss products or reference weight loss centered language, such as body mass index (BMI) and similar indexes.

“This stance makes Pinterest the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads. It’s an expansion of our ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims,” the company said.

“Pinterest is the place people come for inspiration to create life they love,” the company said. “It’s where everyone belongs—regardless of body shape or size. We’re empowering Pinners to plan for a summer and beyond without weight loss ads, so they can focus on what matters most.”

The company said ads that promote healthy lifestyles, fitness, and general well-being will be allowed so long as they do not directly make statements about losing weight. Pinterest reportedly created the policy via collaboration with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), according to Reuters.

NEDA research has shown a steep rise in unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders in young people since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, according to Pinterest.

 “We are hopeful this global policy will encourage other organizations and companies to reflect on potentially harmful ad messages and to establish their own working policies that will create meaningful change,” said Elizabeth Thompson, interim CEO for NEDA in a statement.

Sarah Bromma, Pinterest’s head of policy, told Reuters that the rule change prioritized users’ “emotional and mental health and wellbeing, especially those directly impacted by eating disorders or diet culture or body shaming.”

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