As a Registered Dietitian (RD), I’ve spent most of my career coaching clients on how to build a healthy relationship with food; inspiring flexibility and balance in eating, practicing mindfulness, and finding joy and peace with food. In order for my clients to develop healthy habits, we explore good health and quality of life, through a holistic lens – beyond a number on the scale.
When I heard WW (the rebranded Weight Watchers) launched a new app for kids, called Kurbo, I wondered – could we be setting up a new generation of kids to have the same self-image issues that most of us are still trying to free ourselves from?
Granted: the scientific community is working to develop programs to keep our children healthy. But it would be naive and irresponsible to overlook the risks associated with an app that requires kids – as young as 8 – to track everything they eat, and self-report their weight and behaviors.
According to WW Chief Scientific Officer, Gary Foster, the program is intended to be, “part of the solution to address the prevalent public health problem of childhood obesity
The reality is, not all experts agree.
“Children are not ‘little adults’ and the approaches that may ‘work’ for adults, such as weight-loss goals, are not appropriate for children most of the time,” Natalie Muth, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told The Atlantic last month. “Interventions that focus on weight as the main target can trigger disordered eating