Jameela Jamil calls out "disturbing" Kurbo weight loss app for kids as young as eight
14 August 2019, 17:33
"Anyone who praises weight loss for 8 year old is a fucking monster."
As if we aren't image and weight loss obsessed enough, here comes a terrific new invention – Kurbo. WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, have launched the controversial weight loss app, which is for teens and kids as young as eight years old.
READ MORE: People are calling out this "damaging" Photolift app that makes people look thinner
So here's the skinny on Kurbo (pun intended), WW acquired the nutrition app in 2018 and then gave it a Snapchat-style revamp. Basically, kids can begin logging what they eat after entering their height, weight, age and goals.
Unlike other calorie-counting mobile apps, Kurbo works using a traffic light system. Green foods like fruit and vegetables are good to eat, yellow foods like meat and dairy should be eaten in moderation, and red foods like sweets and chocolate should be restricted.
Here's the thing, labelling some food as "bad" and others as "good" only creates a poor relationship with food and distorted eating. Throw this in with being a young child or teen and it could have disastrous effects.
In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised doctors and parents to avoid conversations about weight and focus on being healthy instead. Meanwhile, a 2019 study found that almost half of its participants felt negative feelings like guilt, obsession or social isolation stemming from nutrition and fitness apps.
The app is free to use but for $69 for a month trained coaches can video call you. Apparently, they're also able to pick up on signs of disordered eating or unhealthy weight loss.
Kurbo officially launched on Tuesday 13 August and it has been receiving a lot of backlash online. The Good Place actress and body confidence activist Jameela Jamil spoke out about the new app on Twitter.
She tweeted: "Oh fuck no... are we kidding? Breeding obsession with weight and calories and food at the age of...8? I was 11 when my obsession started, due to being put on a diet for being the heaviest girl in the class. I became afraid of food. It ruined my teens and twenties.
"*If* you are worried about your child’s health/lifestyle, give them plenty of nutritious food and make sure they get plenty of fun exercise that helps their mental health. And don’t weigh them. Don’t burden them with numbers, charts or 'success/failure.' It’s a slippery slope."
*If* you are worried about your child’s health/lifestyle, give them plenty of nutritious food and make sure they get plenty of fun exercise that helps their mental health. And don’t weigh them. Don’t burden them with numbers, charts or “success/failure.” It’s a slippery slope.— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) August 14, 2019
Soon, others joined in to criticise the app.
Making kids and teens feel bad about their weight will not help them develop better relationships with food.— Caroline Dooner (@thefuckitdiet) August 13, 2019
FUCK this SO much it's this shitty mentality that ruined my school years— Marianne and her lizards (@heccgecc) August 14, 2019
My 9 year old nephew started saying he needs to be on a fucking diet because he got called fat and ugly when he's not
Fuck this shit https://t.co/oL8LWnBVVz
KURBO.— Anna Sweeney MS, CEDRD-S (@DietitianAnna) August 13, 2019
I thought that I hated Weight Watchers. I have not hated them as much as I do right now.
Making weight loss trendy for children is making the development of eating disorders easier and trendier. I am not here for this.
Alright so that Kurbo thing's website gives kids advice I could see on pro-ana websites. Hide the dieting, compensate for the holidays earlier, and of course you cannot eat a fucking slice of your grandma's pie on holidays, that's overindulgence! pic.twitter.com/yXYRj1ft0j— 🌚 (@21stBella) August 14, 2019
Anyone who praises weight loss for 8 year old is a fucking monster https://t.co/SijcD4B73n— Laurie/Knit Me A Pony (@knitmeapony) August 14, 2019