Weight Watchers facing backlash over new app aimed at kids

National

PEORIA, Ill. — Weight Watchers is facing backlash after launching a new app, called Kurbo, for kids to keep track of what they eat.

“Every kid is different, so I’m not gonna say a whole age group would be better. I think it’s a good idea to get kids started looking at foods as young as possible, get them comfortable with it, so as they age, they will be more open to trying those new foods,” said local Hy-Vee dietitian Brooke Bisping.

The app encourages kids to think twice about what they eat. It works by matching food options with the colors of a traffic light, the green color stands for healthier foods and the red color is the opposite. Bisping explains how your family can get the most from this new app.

“When it’s through a screen, sometimes it’s not real, and so when you come into a store and you’ve got that app and they say, well I’ve never seen this melon. I don’t know what that is, it looks cool in the picture, please show me in the store where that’s at,” said Bisping.

She says the the app’s design can be beneficial and easy for kids to understand.

“I would hope that this app is encouraging kids to start looking at foods in a different way, looking at those foods that are healthier, versus those that may not be as healthy, and teaching them we want to start eating less of those healthy foods, and explore the green area and the yellow area more than that red area,” said Bisping.

Kurbo has gotten backlash from some who believe kids should be taught healthy habits, not dieting.

Local shoppers have mixed opinions on this new downloadable diet-driven feature.

“Parents need to know what that apps all about. If it’s one that’s going to help them choose, the healthier vegetables and food, yeah that’s a good app,” said Jane Brown, who is for the app.

“I think kids need more activity, get out and play. Get out and play, eat your fruits and vegetables and get out and play,” said Kim Dunn, shopper at Hy-Vee.

Bisping says the app can be used to introduce kids to new foods and make better choices.

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