We are living in a world where there exists a weight loss app for kids. The app named Kurbo is designed to "help kids and teens reach a healthier weight and build healthy habits." It has been called out for "irresponsible" and heavily bashed by experts all over the world. The app, launched by WW, who was earlier known as Weight Watchers International, is in a pickle for promoting body image issues among children. Kurbo is aimed at kids as young as eight years old, and is facing backlash for being "insensitive." Twitter hashtag #wakeupweightwatchers has been trending on Twitter. Although we cannot deny that a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for children as it lays the foundation for overall good health in future, WW is being criticised for promoting eating disorders from a young age that may, in turn, impact their health adversely. Also, you might want to know how to Boost Your Child's Immunity: 10 Important Nutrients for a Strong Immune System. Coming back to the app, a lot of parents have also been criticising the app for promoting diet and weight loss culture among kids under the pretext of making them "healthier".
According to a press release received by media portals such as health.com, Kurbo uses a "Traffic Light System" that categorises foods into three groups similar to the traffic lights, "green light, yellow light, and red light. Green-light foods include fruits and vegetables, which children are encouraged to eat more of. Whole grains and dairy are among the yellow-light foods, which the programme says children should "be mindful of", and red-light foods are sugary drinks and treats, which children are told to "gradually reduce but still include consumption of." Although well-intentioned, Kurbo failed to impress netizens who have reacted sharply to it. Dietician-Recommended Healthy Breakfast Options That Are Wholesome!
Kurbo Faces Backlash
— Ditch the Diet Life (@BrittnaeGiesau) August 13, 2019
If “Kurbo Coaches” are trained to pick up on early warning signs of disordered eating behaviours, does that mean that @ww_us KNOW that their app can result in lots of young children with #eatingdisorders? You’ll allow them to get dangerously close to developing an ED? #kurbo pic.twitter.com/bnz3zfK450
— Stephanie ستيفاني (@stephanie1992s) August 14, 2019
People are pissed
Dear @WeightWatchers_ ,
It’s well past time that you went away forever, but this newest move is inexcusable.
Peddling your diet culture fatphobic bullshit to adults is one thing, but when you come for our kids? ABSOLUTELY NOT. #Kurbo can fuck ALLLL THE WAY OFF.
— Hags Podcast (@HagsPodcast) August 14, 2019
#KurboKills is doing the rounds on Twitter
This new app #kurbo by WW is disgusting! And it is out right dangerous! Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and teaching young people these messages is WRONG!
— Hope Virgo (@HopeVirgo) August 14, 2019
The tweets just go on and on
Kurbo by @ww_us
What can I say that hasn’t been said? That were creating a generation of weight-obsessed kids with disordered eating? That were inflicting weight-based trauma by teaching kids that success = restriction and thinness?
Right, but “ob*sity” matters more
— Trust Your Body Project (@Whitneycatalano) August 14, 2019
Just another example
There is a special place in hell for adults who tell #KIDS to go on diets.
I am OUTRAGED over @weightwatchers ‘s new weight loss app FOR CHILDREN. As a survivor of severe #anorexia - THIS IS GROSSLY NEGLIGENT #kurbo #weightwatchers #ww #edrecovery #parenting #WednesdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/pwGDCvt9Zf
— BeautyBeyondBones (@AnaRevealed) August 14, 2019
The website also features success stories from children who have undergone the programme while also flaunting the before-and-after photos. The success stories also feature kids' first names, ages, photos, etc. and that is being said to put unnecessary pressure for other kids to look like them. However, reviews are mixed because we cannot deny that the app is also encouraging a healthy lifestyle for kids as well that is often ignored.