Is This The End Of Diet Culture? Pinterest Bans All Weight Loss-Related Ads - Women's Health

Is This The End Of Diet Culture? Pinterest Bans All Weight Loss-Related Ads

After years of social conditioning where diet culture reigned supreme, finally social media platforms are catching up to modern times.

For anyone that grew up in the ‘90s, thinness was a trend that swept magazine covers and fashion runways. From the supermodels of that era to the TV shows and characters we came to idealise, the publications we read and media we consumed were those that championed an aesthetic where waif-like physiques were to be celebrated. Thankfully, we’ve now begun to release ourselves from the grips of such social conditioning. Today, the phrase “strong is the new sexy” is a mantra many women live by, as physical fitness and overall health and wellbeing is celebrated far above any one body type. 

But while most platforms are slow to catch up to the pervasive mindset of modern times, Pinterest is now doing its part to end diet culture. It’s been announced that the platform has now banned weight loss related ads as National Eating Disorders Association’s data showed a steep rise in unhealthy eating patterns during the pandemic. 

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The Association helpline reported that they experienced a 40 per cent increase in call volume in 2020 that were related to mental health and eating disorder struggles compared to the year before. In light of that data and other trends on Pinterest, the platform updated its policies, prohibiting all ads related to weight loss imagery and language. Now, the hope is that those on the platform will look to embrace radical self-acceptance. 

Pinterest had already banned ads that featured weight loss or appetite pills, supplements or other products, before-and-after weight-loss imagery, weight loss procedures like liposuction or fat burning, body shaming and claims regarding unrealistic cosmetic results. The new policy will now also see any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin banned, along with referencing BMI or similar indexes, and language or imagery that idealises or denigrates certain body types. 

A statement from the company read: “As our community of Pinners grows, so do searches for tips like healthy eating, healthy lifestyle and fitness tips. We’ll continue providing useful and relevant content for those searching for it while prohibiting content that displays, rationalises, or encourages eating disorders and other types of self-injury.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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