WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) recently launched their new brand Kurbo, a weight-loss app designed for children between the ages of eight and 17. The Kurbo app bases its system on a paediatric obesity programme that WW says is proven to work.
It has come under fire from parents and experts both in the US where it originated and also in Ireland. They say a weight-loss app aimed at young people sends the wrong message. That response begs the question; what is the right message?
Last October’s National Longitudinal Study of Children concentrated on the health of 13-year-olds in Ireland. The ESRI study found that that there was a noticeable disparity between actual weight and perceived weight among some of the children. Only 19% of those who were obese described themselves as very overweight while 45% who were overweight described themselves as just the right weight.
That points to a worrying lack of physical health awareness among younger teenagers. The Kurbo app may not be the right message but it is better than none at all.