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Weight Watchers kids' app is a terrifying reminder of my eating disorder

4 22 0

When I read about some of the main features of Weight Watchers’ new dieting app for children and teenagers in the US, I was horrified.

Kurbo, as it’s known, is aimed at people aged eight to 17 years old and claims to help them ‘choose healthier foods, build better habits and lose weight’. The app’s glossy website is full of happy, smiling children in before and after weight loss snaps, some of which are supported by positive testimonials from their parents.

In reality, there is evidence that shows dieting during adolescence can increase the risk of eating disorders.

As someone with a history of anorexia – which started in my teens – Kurbo sounds terrifying.

The app encourages children to ‘count every food you put into your body’, enter weight goals and score food choices using a traffic-light system, where green foods are good and can be eaten freely, but red foods are bad and children should ‘stop and think’ before they eat them.

Users also receive tips on how to compensate for things like birthday cake and weight loss coaches are on hand to ensure children stay on track.

All of this reminds me of the voice of my eating disorder.

I obsessed........

© Metro