How Young Is Too Young To Diet?

By Gayla Cawley
Daily Item, Lynn, Mass.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Gayla Cawley takes a look at the new Weight Watchers app for kids called “Kurbo.”

Lynn, Mass.

Weight Watchers for kids?

A free weight loss program for kids and teens 8-17 years old is the newest offering from the company, which rebranded itself as WW last September.

The new app, Kurbo by WW, has proved controversial so far, with critics saying it could lead to eating disorders in adolescents.

If anything, it begs the question: How young is too young for a kid to start dieting?

I have mixed feelings on the matter.

Most people are familiar with the Weight Watchers point system. Participants are allocated a certain number of points a day and have to make sure what they eat doesn’t exceed that total, and voila, that’s supposed to lead to weight loss.

The Kurbo app is similar, except a traffic light system is used. For instance, green light foods are good to eat any time, yellow foods should be consumed in moderation and red foods should make kids “stop and think” before consumption.

Now, I don’t have kids so I can’t take a parenting perspective. Many of the critics arguing the app could lead to disordered eating are parents. But I was once a kid, an overweight one at that.

I remember the misery it brought me growing up, with not being able to fit into clothes during back-to-school shopping or the feeling of being unattractive. There was the repeated feeling of failure every time a diet failed and I was at a loss of how to take off the weight.

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