TikTok rolls out tougher restrictions on weight loss marketing

Tyrone Stewart

TikTok has introduced new global policies that address harmful weight loss marketing on its platform, placing more restrictions on the types of ads allowed referencing body image.

The app has banned fasting apps and weight loss supplements from advertising, while increasing restrictions on ads that promote a harmful and negative body image. Weight management products can now only be targeted toward those 18 and over, there are stronger restrictions on weight loss and other irresponsible claims, and ads promoting weight loss or weight management products cannot promote a negative body image or negative relationship with food.

TikTok users who may be struggling with weight stigma or an eating disorder are also able to use reporting, blocking, and comment filter controls.

“As a society, weight stigma and body shaming pose both individual and cultural challenges, and we know that the internet, if left unchecked, has the risk of exacerbating such issues,” said TikTok in a blog post. “That's why we're focused on working to safeguard our community from harmful content and behavior while supporting an inclusive – and body-positive – environment.”

The ByteDance-owned app is also partnering with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) in the US to offer support to users. When US TikTok users search certain terms or hashtags, they will be directed to the NEDA helpline.