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Experts weigh in on weight loss app for kids

Oklahoma has 6th highest childhood obesity rate
Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 11:55:50-05

There's an app for everything these days, including weight loss, but this new one from Weight Watchers is designed to help kids shed extra pounds, and not everyone is happy about it.

We asked you to "Weigh in" (with your comments) on our 2 works for you Facebook page.

Our poll question, "Do you think kids need a weight loss app, or does it send the wrong message?"

28 percent say they're "For It."

72 percent say they're "Against It."

Kids loves to color, they understand it.

And color coding is exactly what the app "Kurbo" uses.

Green for "Healthy foods", yellow for "Ok" foods, and red for "Junk".

Weight Watchers says the app is science based and there's no calorie counting, and it just helps kids build healthy eating habits.

But this app has many seeing red instead, saying it will spark eating disorders.

Dr. Jennifer Guidiani says, "This makes children self conscious about food and about their bodies. When we label food as good medium and bad we are giving their very concrete little minds the wrong idea."

Oklahoma has the sixth highest childhood obesity rate in the nation.

With 18 percent of children aged 10 to 17 considered obese.

Rachel Madiri says, "They definitely need to eat foods that are healthy not just junk food."

But mom Rachel Madiri thinks healthy habits are better learned at home, than on a device.

"My son will want to sit down and I say nope you got to go outside."

Leading by example, Madiri says, "As adults we need to be eating healthy for them as well and exposing them to a variety of different foods."

A psychologist says it's even deeper than diet and exercise.

Psychologist Dr. Carolyn Levers-Landis says, "You have to be so careful about how you yourself speak about your body and your appearance and it's difficult."

Doctor Levers-Landis specializes in body image issues with kids, and her patients are getting younger and younger.

Dr. Levers-Landis says, "Children are aware of that how society views appearance and attractiveness and they internalize that and they feel like I have to fit up to those standards."

Most experts we spoke to agree the color-coded app could be harmful to children and their relationship with food, but it's clear, weight loss And body image is not black and white.

"It's not one size fits all."

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