YouTube has updated its policies on video content related to eating disorders to prevent the promotion of harmful behaviors and provide support for users dealing with these issues. YouTube’s updated guidelines include a ban on content that promotes or glorifies dangerous weight loss techniques, such as fasting or using weight loss products.

Additionally, content that encourages self-harm or disordered eating behaviors will be removed. YouTube will also provide resources and support links for users seeking help for eating disorders. YouTube’s updated policies for eating disorder content are part of YouTube’s ongoing efforts to promote a safe and supportive society for its users, particularly those who may be struggling with mental health issues.

Hence, Real Research, an online survey app, launched a survey on YouTube’s updated policies for eating disorder content to gauge what the public thinks of YouTube’s updated policies for eating disorder content.


  • 37% are well aware of YouTube’s updated policies for eating disorder content.
  • 38.72% of respondents think that YouTube’s efforts to limit harmful content could prompt other social media platforms as well.
  • 12.59% say YouTube’s updated guidelines would affect creators if unable to adhere to guidelines.

YouTube has long been removing content that promotes eating disorders, but the updated policies provide more specific guidance on what types of content are not allowed on the platform.

The survey started by gauging the respondents’ level of awareness regarding YouTube’s updated policies for eating disorder content. 37% of the respondents said that they were well aware of it, while 32.13% were unaware, and 30.87% were vaguely aware of it.

Updated Guidelines: Survey Respondents’ Opinions

In the next poll, we asked the respondents about their opinion on YouTube’s new guidelines. Survey results revealed that 14.94% said the new update is a positive step toward promoting healthy content, 13.8% said it would protect vulnerable viewers, and 13.69% said it could limit informative video content related to eating disorders.

In addition, 12.95% said the updated guidelines would help those struggling with eating disorder embarrassment, 11.37% said it could set a precedent for limiting creative expression, 11.2% said it was a welcoming change, and 10.22% said the update was long overdue.

Figure 1: Respondents’ opinions on YouTube’s Updated Guidelines.

Perception of YouTube’s Updated Guidelines on Eating Disorder Content

According to the survey results, a majority of respondents (85.58%) believe that YouTube’s updated guidelines for eating disorder content will create a safe space for its viewers. Specifically, 57.03% of respondents answered yes, definitely, and 28.55% answered yes, probably.

Only a small percentage of respondents (7.76%) answered no, either probably not (6.31%) or definitely not (1.45%). The remaining 6.66% of respondents were unsure. These results indicate that a significant portion of the surveyed population is optimistic about the effectiveness of YouTube’s updated policies in creating a safer space for viewers regarding eating disorder content.

Furthermore, we asked respondents to identify the potential consequences of YouTube’s updated guidelines on eating disorder content. The results revealed that 12.59% believed that content creators may experience a decline in views if they are unable to adhere to the guidelines, while 12.32% suggested that the guidelines could lead to changes in YouTube’s content. Additionally, 11.03% believed that the updated guidelines would lead to increased awareness about disordered eating and mental health.

Additionally, 10.91% of respondents said there would be fewer harmful videos about disordered eating on the platform, 9.56% said other social media sites might follow YouTube’s lead, 9.26% said YouTube’s reputation might be positively impacted, 8.47% said there would be fewer helpful videos about disordered eating, and 8.01% said it might be negatively impacted.

Respondents Express Their Stance on the Updated Guidelines

In the next poll, we asked the respondents about their stance on Youtube’s updated guidelines. 28.43% had mixed feelings about the guidelines, 27.52% supported the guidelines but worried about the consequences, and 26.06% were in full support of the guidelines. On the other hand, 17.99% opposed the updated guidelines.

Figure 2: Respondents’ Stance on the Updated Guidelines.

When asked what further measures YouTube might take to encourage healthy choices and restrict harmful material linked to disordered eating, the study found that 20.77% of participants stated that YouTube could offer more resources and assistance for video producers who are supporting healthy choices.

Similarly, 20.1% of respondents thought YouTube might incentivize content producers to provide materials that support healthy lifestyles, 20.07% of respondents said YouTube should spend money on more effective tools and algorithms for identifying objectionable content, and 15.78% said the company should put in place a comprehensive reporting system.

Likelihood of Other Social Media Platforms Implementing Similar Policies

Lastly, the respondents were asked if they thought that attempts by YouTube to limit harmful content related to disordered eating may persuade other social media platforms to adopt comparable rules.

The majority of respondents (70.82%) believed that it was at least somewhat likely, with 32.10% saying it was highly likely and 38.72% saying it was somewhat likely. On the other hand, 21.34% said it was somewhat unlikely, and 7.84% said it was highly unlikely.

Figure 3: Likelihood of other social media platforms following YouTube’s decision.

These results suggest that many people see YouTube’s actions as potentially impactful in promoting healthier content across the broader social media landscape.


Survey TitleSurvey on YouTube’s Updated Policies for Eating Disorder Content
DurationApril 30, 2023 – May 7, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.