Diet group launches weight loss App for kids – and reaping harsh criticism

The company is WW, which was formerly known as Weight Watchers, brings out a diet App for children and young people. With “Kurbo” is designed to give children a healthy life style be brought closer to – so WW advertises it, at least. Critics accuse the company to promote the App, already in childhood is unhealthy and compulsive eating habits.

“Kurbo” follows the usual Weight-Watchers-principle: no points, but a food-traffic-light show which foods are “good” or “bad” for the health and weight – Green stands for vegetables and fruits, Red is for sweets, Junk food and soft drinks. Children must first specify your age, your weight, your size and your objectives. Then, you will be assigned a personal Coach to provide via video chat for the Motivation. The App costs around 69 dollars a month.

The App is available since Tuesday for the time being, only available in the US and is aimed at children between eight and 17 years. On Twitter WW announced the Launch of the App: “We are pleased to present Kurbo Health, a scientific Tool that has been specially developed for children and Teenagers who want to improve their eating habits and become more active.”

In a Video, the 12-year-old Julianna explains how she could supposedly improve your speed while Jogging three to four minutes, since it “uses Kurbo”.

With the announcement of WW drew immediately criticism in the social networks themselves. The allegations were that WW is promoting with such an App, eating disorders already in childhood. To make “weight loss for children for the Trend, makes eating disorders to Trend,” tweeted a user. Another wrote: “to promote the Obsessions of weight and calories and food with… 8? I was started 11 when my eating disorder because I was on a diet, because I was the heaviest girl in my class. I got afraid of the food. I ruined my youth.”

A woman even called a Petition on the Online platform in life, the calls to “Kurbo” from the market. “The decision of WW to launch this App is dangerous, irresponsible and unforgivable,” writes Holly Stallcup in the Petition letters. “You need to take this App down and thousands of children to protect them from developing eating disorders that will kill your lifetime and maybe even some of them.”

The U.S. nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert told the British “Independent”, that you agree with the critics. You know many cases of children with eating disorders or an unhealthy relationship to food that were caused by diets at a young age.

“How children eat, see and diet are brought up to perceive shapes in the truest sense of the word, their future mental state and your mental health,” said Lambert. The new App troubling you extremely. “Restrictive measures and to generate Ideals, which are based on numbers, can be at such a young age is very harmful,” she said.

The US National Health Service (NHS), according to people at any age can develop an eating disorder. However, particularly young women are endangered at the age of 13 to 17 years of age.

WW bought “Kurbo” for three million dollars

“Kurbo” is not entirely new. Originally, the program was developed according to the Portal “Techcrunch” already in 2014, in order to combat obesity in childhood. The inventor Joanna Strober said at the time that it had developed “Kurbo”, after she failed to help her own child.

You have to want to develop an online service, since it was with the usual programs dissatisfied with the “Obesity centers” about no child wants to be brought into connection, in addition, treatments are expensive, she said at the time. Together with Stanford University they have developed the diet program for children, based on scientific guidelines.

WW bought the program now for three million dollars and expanded it to meditation offers, recipe videos, and games that focus on a healthy lifestyle. The App includes also categories that measure about weight loss and positive points when targets are met.

The diet group, Weight Watchers is already since a Long time in the crisis, the share value fell the least immense. The new Boss Mindy Grossman is, therefore, now in addition to the Housewives clientele to younger women and men, to help them lose weight. She named the brand in WW. The times of the pure points counting will be over. “Wellness that Works” is called for, a healthier diet, more exercise.