HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Kurbo, a WW (previously Weight Watchers) app focused towards kids and teenagers, is drawing quite a lot of criticism.
The app is marketed to show youngsters about wholesome consuming and train habits.
It really works like a site visitors gentle by telling youngsters which meals they’re clear to eat — like fruit and veggies (inexperienced) — and which meals they need to cease (pink) and take into consideration — like desserts.
The app’s web site stated youngsters will be taught to combine the lights for a “more healthy steadiness.”
In line with WW, the system was developed at Stanford University after greater than 30 years of analysis.
The app additionally teaches the youngsters to consider exercising as a solution to “earn meals.” Customers even have entry to coaches and methods to trace their success.
Whereas evaluations on the web site recommend customers had been capable of eat more healthy and take up new habits, like operating, well being specialists fear that it might educate youngsters one thing else: consuming issues.
“It’s concentrating on kids so younger,” stated psychotherapist Lisa Lyon. “We’re seeing consuming issues develop in kids as early as age 6.”
“An Eight-year-old shouldn’t be apprehensive about counting energy. They need to be going out and enjoying and being a child … Meals is simply meals. That’s actually perpetrating kids to consider meals as morally good or unhealthy as an alternative of simply vitamins.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal and a gaggle with the Nationwide Consuming Issues Affiliation (NEDA) are taking a robust stance in opposition to the app.
Blumenthal and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) wrote to WW and requested the corporate to instantly pull its “probably dangerous food regimen app” from the market.
“Childhood weight problems is a medical disaster in the US, and it’s crucial that pediatricians and medical professionals, together with these with experience on consuming issues, information selections mother and father and kids and making about wholesome consuming habits,” the pair wrote. “An app like Kurbo, along side this lack of related medical experience, has the potential to contribute to consuming issues that plague kids, adolescents, and adults throughout the nation. Merely put, Kurbo has no place within the palms of kids and we ask that you simply withdraw the app from .”
“Its (WW) adverts, footage, and promotions for Kurbo are completely unacceptable,” Blumenthal added.
Among the success tales featured are from kids as younger as Eight.
Blumenthal stated the app is a recipe for catastrophe.
“Consuming issues are a probable results of a food regimen too early with out an understanding of the significance of excellent diet.”
NEDA stated the app has no well being skilled steerage.
“Youngsters aren’t cleared by medical professionals once they join the app,” Katie Cichon with NEDA Hartford advised Information Eight. “There’s no medical surveillance.”
After listening to concerning the app, one dad or mum stated she doesn’t suppose it needs to be used with out parental supervision.
“I don’t suppose that any app needs to be utilized by kids with out supervision from their mother and father,” stated April Cicarella.
It prices $69 for one month, $189 for 3 months, and $294 for six months. The web site additionally has a “my employer or medical health insurance supplier pay for Kurbo.”