Weight-loss company Weight Watchers, rebranded as WW, has launched an app aimed at children ages eight to 17 to assist with “healthy weight loss.”
WW reportedly acquired Kurbo in 2018 and developed the app over a year, launching it Tuesday.
Kurbo by WW is a free app available on iOS and Android that uses the Stanford University “traffic light” system to rank foods into categories of green (eat all the time) yellow (eat in moderation) and red (stop and think).
App users enter data like height, weight and age as well as track their physical activity – the app includes extras like breathing exercises and the app’s design is reminiscent of the Snapchat interface.
Kids using the app can also sign up for one-on-one coaching via video chat for “15 minutes once a week” to keep them accountable to their goals. The coaches are also available to be texted outside of scheduled video sessions “for extra support.”
Kurbo says it screens their coaches using a “rigorous background check” and promises that the company “oversees interactions between coaches and members,” according to their website.
Website visitors are prompted with a free 7-day trial, after which the user will be “automatically subscribed at the standard one month fee (US $69), three month fee (US $189) or six month fee (US $294),” depending on the plan they choose, according to the sites fine print.
The app comes soon after Weight Watchers caused controversy last February after it announced it would offer its weight-loss program for free to teens 13-17, as experts believe that obesity prevention efforts may lead to an eating disorder in adolescents.