Pinterest became the first major social networking platform to ban weight loss ads on the site.
The policy includes advertisements that include evidence of weight loss or weight loss products, such as body mass index (BMI) or similar advertisements. According to the company, advertisements promoting healthy lifestyles, habits or fitness services and products will still be allowed as long as they are “not focused on weight loss.”
In a statement issued on Pinterest on July 1, Pinterest said it was “the only major platform that bans all weight loss ads.”
“This is an extension of our advertising policy, which for a long time prohibited the shame of the body – dangerous means or requirements for weight loss,” the statement continued. Since 2015, Pinterest has blocked searches for content related to eating disorders. The site already has rules that prohibit advertising that promotes weight loss pills or images before or after.
Dr. Deborah Glasofer, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Eating Disorders in Columbia, New York, said further restrictions on weight loss advertising were a positive step for the digital whiteboard site, especially when it came to accommodating users who may have or recover from an eating disorder.
“Images like these are especially useless, especially things that are body images that send a message that they are ideal as opposed to the real bodies that most of us live in,” Glasofer said. “Anything that tightens up very strict eating rules is not particularly helpful for someone with an eating disorder.”
How Do Weight Loss Ads Affect People?
Registered nutritionist Samantha Cassetti said that the emphasis on “conventionally fit, slim body” in weight loss advertisements can negatively change people’s perceptions of food and health.
“When you look back at one type of body image that may be unrealistic to you, it can lead to dissatisfaction with the body, a desire to lose weight,” says Cassetti.
Glasofer agreed that these ads could lead to a negative perception of self-determination.
“Certainly, there is research that shows that people who are vulnerable to eating disorders, even without eating disorders, have certain images, particularly what appears on social media, that can be as influential in their attitudes as they are. “They feel about their body, or how much it feels like to change their egg or egg,” said Glasofer. “I really think these ads can have a negative impact on people who have a history of eating disorders, a past or a vulnerability.”
Dr. Rebecca Berry, a child and adolescent psychologist at the Center for Child Studies at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in NYU Langone Health, said the effect is particularly pronounced among teens, who may spend more time on social media and be more vulnerable to negativity. -file
When an individual sees these weight loss ads or even sees, say, a TikTok video of someone saying, “This is what I eat, this is what I weigh,” it can lead to inconsistencies. “I’m a real human being, an ideal self among them, which can lead to what we call frustration or dissatisfaction with feelings of frustration or dissatisfaction with body image,” Berry said. “… It’s that ‘I’m not good enough’, it’s coming from the influence of this kind of media.”
Cassetti noted that testimonials in weight loss advertisements can give people a false impression of how much a certain diet or eating plan can work for them.
“This anecdotal evidence tells you nothing,” Cassetti said. “Besides, the testimonial does not tell you what else the person was doing to discuss the results. So it is possible that they are advertising a product, but they are changing the way they eat, exercise or sleep. And the testimonies do not. ” Indicate how safe or healthy the program is. ”
How can people be more literate about the content of weight loss?
If you are looking for information on weight loss, Glasofer recommends starting with talking to your own doctor or another medical professional who is familiar with your personal history և circumstances.
“It could be a primary care physician, it could talk to a nutritionist, but someone who can really go through the history of an individual’s diet and weight to understand what that individual’s mental and physical health is,” Glasofer said.
When it comes to social media, Cassetty recommends looking at trusted sources, such as information from health organizations such as the American Heart Association or the Academy of Nutrition, or records written by registered nutritionists.
“Really, the key is to seek information from people who have the authority to advise you,” Cassetti said. “Every single person can call themselves a nutritionist or a health trainer, but you need to make sure you get health և nutrition information from one of the credentials … One study found that only one in nine blogs provided solid weight loss information. so this is really crucial. “
Berry said parents can help their children maintain a healthy attitude towards weight and body image by avoiding commenting on body shapes and emphasizing how a “healthy” appearance can vary from person to person.
Cassetti said people should avoid people who recommend a diet or eating plan that focuses on limiting many food groups and is skeptical of information that “ignores the complexity of weight management.”
“Eating is only part of the equation. “If someone classifies weight management as eating less / exercising more, it’s a sign that they are ignoring the whole picture,” says Cassette. “Also, if an influential person or plan promises weight loss or advises you to have a target weight, run in the opposite direction. “Your body will rest where it needs to fit. No one can guarantee that you will lose weight.”