Media Monday: Pinning Health at Every Size

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer

There are so many social networking programs that exist today, and Pinterest is certainly one of the most popular. Just like any other social networking program in which people would get hooked on to, the purpose of Pinterest is to share ideas with other people and these ideas are easily accessible to anyone. Everyone that uses Pinterest uses it for different purposes. The most common uses are wedding ideas, crafts, recipes and health. But when you look at the “Health & Fitness” and “Food & Drink” boards, are they encouraging eating disorders?
The majority of the images and information provided on these boards, you see phrases like, “Pool workout that burns mega calories and tones every Trouble spot”, “11 Easy Lunches to Lose Weight”, “25 meals that allow you to eat your feelings, the healthy way”. These pins certainly reinforce the idea that it is “normal” to be burning “mega-calories” per day, or eat certain foods to lose 10 pounds in a week. But, it is clear that these behaviors can often be destructive to one’s health. For example if someone starts diet X and then after a couple days, they are not satisfied with the results, they will continue other dieting methods to achieve the desired results. These dieting methods will required your body to undergo extreme measures.  Pinterest does have policies in place to ensure that pins are not promoting behaviors that are clearly harmful, but what about the pins that are inadvertently so?
In general, society has misinterpreted their views on what is “normal.” It is important for us to redefine the definition of “normal” living.  Pinterest wants people to network with others and share common ideas, so it’s time to start sharing the idea of health at every size with others.  It is time to start sharing the idea that health means many different things, not just a number on a scale. The messages behind those pins are powerful.  So, what are you going to pin today?

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