I just found out that the Kurbo by WW app exists from this Atlantic article (which has a great overview of the app and the issues with it) and I'm slightly horrified. It’s aimed at children 8-17. Apparently you need to sign up /with/ a parent if you’re 13, but in my experience, age restrictions on tech like that are super easy to get around. And even if a parent DOES sign you up, are they realistically going to be there with the kid at every moment supervising them on the app?
The basic idea behind the app (putting foods in green, yellow, and red categories based on nutritional value and encouraging users to eat yellow and red in moderation) isn't /terrible/ but marketing it to children as opposed to parents is pretty...awful. And to kids as young as *8*? Are you friggin kidding me? I've used the WW program before and found it pretty positive and helpful (with just a lot of caveats in there about my own depression and ADHD issues which sticking to any healthy diet long term difficult), but I'm pretty appalled they're doing this. I could /maybe/ see the idea behind marketing it to teenagers 15 and up with their own access to money, but from just a basic administration issue, the vast majority of kids don't buy or prepare their own food?
Plus this whole thing just seems really problematic and trigeringg. Even WITHOUT the 24/7 news cycle and social media of today, I remember being unhappy with my size and my weight starting at least back to age 9. I clearly remember the first time I looked at a picture of myself and hated the way I looked (it was from summer camp, I was sitting on a horse and wearing black shorts and a colorful shirt and I thought my legs looked "huge"). I am much happier and more confident with myself, my life, and my appearance than I ever was as a child, but I STILL fight disordered eating habits all the time. Aiming a weight loss app at a child is just one of the worst things I can imagine. Let. Them. Be. Children. And don’t give them a friggin complex over their appearance at an age that’s so difficult already.