A wolf in sheep’s clothing? WW (formerly Weight Watchers) trying to enlist children as young as 8 into a lifetime of dieting and body issues!
Their new app is targeted at children from 8 to 17 years old, while they insist it is all about wellness, essentially at its core; it is a weight and food tracking app. When I looked closer I noticed it is a traffic light system, using the green is good, orange less so and red not so healthy. This system is unsurprisingly based on flawed nutrition ideas with french fries, sweets and full fat dairy all being in the same red category! What the …….
Unfortunately WW don’t look at nutrients, they only ever see food as calories, this can mean that you eat within your calories but still don’t get the required nutrients for good health, not a good way to set up children for a life of healthy eating!
We also know that dieting during childhood and adolescence is dangerous and strongly increases the risk of eating disorders.
If your child is struggling with weight issues, it is best managed as a family approach. The whole family need to be eating well, moving their body and managing sleep, stress with a balance of fun. Don’t single out that child and tell them there is something wrong with them.
If you track anything as a family, rather than tracking weight or size track things like mood, stress, energy, sleep and strength. If emotional eating is a factor, a diet doesn’t fix this, in fact dieting will feed the emotional eating/shame cycle. These issues requires learning how to manage emotions and learning healthier ways of dealing with emotions.
There is also a petition on Change.Org to get WW to remove this app and stop targeting children. You can sign it here: Sign the Petition
I discussed my thoughts on this app on Perth Live with Oliver Peterson, 6PR News Talk. You can listen by pressing play below: