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Weight reduction for teenagers? There’s an app for that.

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Within the age of the anti-diet, the weight-loss business has needed to discover distinctive methods to rebrand for the wellness technology. For the long-time diet business large previously often known as Weight Watchers, that rebranding concerned dropping the phrase β€œweight” from their identify (the model formally relaunched as WW in September), and, apparently, increasing into the kids’s market.

The corporate rolled out their new weight-loss app designed particularly for youngsters Tuesday, Time reported. Referred to as Kurbo by WW, the free app is focused at kids and teenagers between ages of eight and 17. The brand new app follows the corporate’s equally controversial resolution to supply free providers to adolescents between 13 and 17 beginning final 12 months, which critics and consuming dysfunction consultants argued might put teenagers at an elevated threat of creating disordered consuming and different unhealthy behaviors.

Apparently unperturbed by the criticism, WW has since expanded into an excellent youthful market with the Kurbo app, which the model first acquired in 2018 earlier than spending a 12 months redeveloping. The newly launched app reportedly makes use of a Stanford College-developed β€œtraffic-light” system to trace meals, whereby inexperienced meals are these that may be eaten freely, yellow meals are okay sparsely and pink meals ought to make children β€œcease and suppose.” The app additionally contains quite a few Gen-Z pleasant options designed to lure within the subsequent technology of dieters, together with a Snapchat-inspired interface and a multi-day β€œstreak” perform to encourage common use.

Whereas it could sound alarming and irresponsible for a model to market weight loss providers to kids, apps like Kurbo may very well profit the youthful customers it targets. In keeping with Time, the most recent authorities knowledge suggests virtually 38 p.c of adolescents between 16 and 19 stated they’d tried to shed some pounds within the final 12 months, and practically 20 p.c of kids and teenagers between the ages of two and 19 qualify as overweight, which means a weight-loss program particularly designed for youngsters might really present a much-needed useful resource for younger folks trying to make modifications to their diet.

β€œIf we’re going to change well being trajectories, we’ve to teach, encourage and assist at an earlier time limit,” stated WW CEO Mindy Grossman.

Nonetheless, as Time famous, some research have steered that early weight loss efforts can really compound consuming and physique picture points for younger folks, and will set up unhealthy or in any other case disordered consuming and weight-reduction plan habits in kids which will carry into maturity.

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