Why I'm Pissed About The WW Kurbo App | How It Will Do More Harm Than Good

Content By: Katey Davidson from
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I had a different video written and planned for this week, but then a super nasty ass bombshell shook my world and has literally been keeping me up at night so I moved some things around. But yes, I’m talking about WW’s new Kurbo App.
Here’s the deal. WW, formally known as Weight watchers, but you know, they’re all about “wellness” now, just released their new kid-centric app directed at 8 to 17 year olds. The app promises to help our little ones with goals like “lose weight”, “boost confidence” or the most cringeworthy.. “Make parents happy.”
I’m sorry, but if watching your child develop a life threatening eating disorder, lose their amazing intuition around food and set off on a lifetime struggle with food and their body makes you happy as a parent, you really need to re-evaluate your role.
I hope today’s video will shed some light on why you should be WAY more worried about apps like this and dieting in general than your kid gaining weight while approaching puberty.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons we need to BOYCOTT this app today.
Food Cannot Be Categorized as Good, Bad, or Sometimes Okay
Kurbo uses a “Traffic light” system, categorizing foods into green, yellow and red light categories and encouraging kids to track “every bite”.
WW has described the app as a “holistic tool” not a diet, but what they’re actually doing is creating a more preschool-friendly calorie counting strategy, or an off shoot of their popular points system.
The Nutrition recommendations themselves are bunk
This feels like a moot point because like I said, we should never be categorizing any foods as good, or bad, or kinda bad, but I LEGIT don’t understand what the criteria was for these bogus categories.
Dieting in Children Increases Eating Disorder Risk
The words ‘diet’ and ‘children’ should really NEVER be said together, and research confirms to us why this is. First of all, diets rarely work long-term. Sure, you may lose weight initially, but upwards of 90-95% of people regain the weight plus some. This is also the case for children who diet.
Preteens and Teens NEED to Gain Weight and Fat
You know that our fat phobia is so out of hands when we are terrified of our children growing in a way that is imperative to their health.
Despite our society’s fear of fat, it’s extremely important for our health. Body fat is key for keeping our organs protected, temperature regulation, cell signaling, and for maintaining hormone levels, just to name a few.
Promotes Fat Phobia
Weight Stigma and weight cycling is a Much Bigger Problem than Weight
If you’re thinking “oh well its for their health. We’re worried about their health” – let me tell you, that’s actually bull shit and your actions may actually have a much bigger impact on their “health”.
Diets don’t work
Wake Up Weight Watchers, pull this app off the market TODAY.
Tell me, who here was first led into diet culture through weight watchers? Leave me a comment below!
For more tips on staying healthy, recipes, dieting, and information fit for consumption by foodies everywhere stop by Abbey’s blog.

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37 Replies to “Why I'm Pissed About The WW Kurbo App | How It Will Do More Harm Than Good”

  1. This makes me so mad. When I was 10, I was obese, and my parents decided a needed to lose weight. Certain foods were banned, and I was made to exercise every day. I did end up thinning out, probably because I grew taller throughout puberty, but my relationship with food has been destroyed. The hardest part is, it wasn't my fault. If your kid eats poorly, it is YOUR fault as a parent. I didn't go grocery shopping. I couldn't cook. For so long I was told it was my fault that I was fat, and I placed my value in my weight. I still do. I could never tell them that they ruined my relationship with food forever, but even now that I'm eating intuitively, if I have ice cream twice in one week my dad will say, "too much ice cream makes too much Katie." I would rather have been encouraged to eat well with no mention of weight loss, and to exercise doing things I liked. I can only imagine what my body image would be like now.

  2. When I was a kid, my mom tried forcing me to stick with the ww point system. But she didn´t tell me there were 0 point foods nor was I super overweight at the time (from the moment I was born, I have always been on the chubby side but it wasn´t a problem). She would always guilt me whenever I ate and I got scared to even say anything like "I´m hungry" or ask for more food. I started to eat in secret and later pretty much only ate in secret. Nedless to say, by the time I was 14, I weighed 220lbs (I was around 5'5ft) and hated myself, followed by a restrict/binge cycle which at some point also involved purging everything I did eat (even if I was restricting) and that´s how I got super moody, had no energy, lost a shit ton of hair, lost my period and so much more. I was never underweight in my life (the lowest I ever was is 4 lbs away from being underweight) but I always hated my body and still deal with eating disorders (I am working on it though).
    So yeah, don´t shame y´alls kids for eating. If your kid is obese or you worry about their health, lead by example and don´t eat cake while telling your kid they´re too fat to have it. Maybe make a list with your kid of all the foods they like and praise them if they do make a good food choice, tell them that better food choices will make you feel better, make food fun and not something to make them miserable.

  3. Childhood obesity is literally the biggest problem society is facing right now.

    An unhealthy society has far a greater impact and has far more serious, frankly >TERRIFYING< issues than the kids getting bullied! Did you know that our society doesn’t even have enough physically healthy people to fill the most critical jobs like the police, fire service, paramedics, Dr’s, security, care professionals… just to name a few of the jobs where being physically fit is >CRUCIAL< to your job role… Sooo what happens when we can no longer fill these roles…?? We’ve already lowered the standards as low as we absolutely can… when do we say enough is enough…?? If I can maintain my weight at under 💯lbs at 5ft 2in despite two kids and being disabled then there’s absolutely no reason why anyone else can’t at least maintain their weight below DYING! 💀

    We section people who are dying from anorexia to protect them from themselves, and we are happy to do this because we understand that they’re killing themselves, so if it’s acceptable to intervene when you’re starving yourself to death then why aren’t intervening when you’re eating yourself to death…?? Why aren’t we protecting the people who are eating themselves to death…?? 💀

    Please stop pretending that this app is for the normal size children when you know that it’s for the (MAJORITY) of children today who are morbidly obese! Most of these poor children are only obese because their obese parents pass on their terrible eating habits to their children and have no interest in helping their children learn to be healthy so who helps the children who weren’t lucky enough to have a mother like you who cares about their health and provides them with nutritious food!

    Please don’t pretend obesity is a normal size! You know damn well that the diet you feed your children would never allow them to maintain being morbidly obese! You can only maintain being morbidly obese if you’re eating far too much and moving faaarrrr too little! Nobody eats 2000-2250 calls a day and ends up morbidly obese! This app will work for many obese people because they only needed a push to follow the right advice and for others nothing casual would work because people like Amber L Reid, need SERIOUS therapy and even inpatient treatment to SAVE THEIR LIVES AND NO APP COULD EVER BE ENOUGH FOR THOSE PEOPLE… SO DOES THAT MEAN WE CAN’T MAKE SOMETHING UNLESS IT SUITS THE MOST EXTREME OF EXTREME…?? Society shouldn’t have to completely change to fit your self harm! Imagine what society, and you, would say if Eugenia Cooney got all the anorexics together to demand that we not only accept their unhealthy lifestyles! Imagine if they were demanding that we made everything smaller to accommodate them! Imagine if they demanded respect and representation of their mental illness!

    We would rightfully call them out! Soo… why the hell is one seen as an awful mental illness that needs treatment whilst the other is seen as a valid life choice that should be promoted and celebrated…?!! TESS HOLIDAY AND A.L.R ARE DYING JUST AS MUCH AS EUGENIA COONEY!

  4. Personally I needed something to teach me to eat healthier when I was a child and teen. When I ate what I wanted “intuitively” as a kid I was very overweight. This app is not the right choice as it puts foods that are calorie dense as all bad but kids need to learn healthy nutrition so they can eat intuitively as they grow into adults and to be active. I had to learn healthy habits as a adult. Unhealthy foods are a thing and I agree they shouldn’t be villianized but they should be limited. Children and adults need to learn to eat healthy well balanced meals that are in a healthy range of calories for them

  5. Would love an in-depth episode on how to help your kids who are “overweight” or “obese” (quotes used because ugh, BMI scale). Despite activity levels being high and being served a well balanced diet. Or by worrying about them and the teasing they have or could face or potential health issues, am I just feeding into fat phobia? I honestly feel like a bad parent for letting their bodies be their bodies AND a bad parent for thinking we maybe should address. My own history of being teased and then turning to eating disorders makes my hyper afraid of both for them.

  6. I remember so clearly one of the moments when my disordered thought patterns started. I was a really passionate dancer at ages 8-11. In one lesson, my dancing teacher pinched my sides and told me “You should try eating watermelon, it’s really good for weight loss.”

    Yeah, don’t say that kind of crap to a child. It sticks.

  7. I also don't like how everything in life has to have an app. We are losing the ability to just live with documenting, listing, capturing every thing we do. It's obsessive and takes the focus off of "make healthy food choices" to "I have to measure everything and make sure I stay off the naughty list".

  8. At the same time we have an issue with overweight and obese children, not underweight ones. So how do we tackle that issue instead?

  9. Yep, got to my "goal" weight on my third go-around which then I thought it wasn't good enough so I got down to such a low weight that my husband started to worry. I quit and then gained most of it back within 18 months. I am intuitively eating now and barely starting to really feel my hunger cues. I am never going back.

  10. I related to this video so much. I started calorie restricting around 11 years old and have been stuck in an awful cycle of weight gain and weight loss since then. Since having kids of my own I've made it a goal to have a well balanced diet. I used to be in a place where I wouldn't even eat a cracker if one of my kids wanted to feed me one, all in fear of going off my "diet". I think for the last year I've done a decent job of having all of us eat pretty healthy most of the time with some yummy treats mixed in here and there, and definitely not acting like those treats are rewards. Long story short I hope this app doesnt stick around!

  11. I just found your youtube channel. Thanks for discussing this topic. WW is definitely what started me on my weight cycling/disordered eating journey. I started on it when I was a sophomore in high school and I am still on the road to recovery at age 30 (but seeing progress finally!) I was horrified when I found out about this app. Kids, I get it, it sucks feeling like the size/shape of your body is holding you back, but your health is more important. It just is. You don't want to deal with chronic disease as a result of decades of disordered eating patterns, you probably want to live a full and vibrant life. Parents, you don't want your kids to hate you and then have to go to therapy to forgive you. Investing time and energy in diet culture only serves the corporations! This video is so real.

  12. Hello! I am 17 and last year I lost 15 pounds by counting calories. Then I ate too much birthday cake for my 17th birthday. I started to feel so much self hatred and the only way I could feel better about the hatred was by eating more and more. I would stay up till 3 am to eat more then cry that I couldn’t make myself throw up. Over the course of 4 months I gained 20 pounds. Although I am having trouble losing it, I have been working really hard to get in a better place with food. While calorie counting I used the lifesum app and seeing the frowny faces and happy faces towards some foods definitely influenced me. Not I try to focus on eating what feels right and on loving my body instead. Even though I am larger I find that I am happier with myself than I was when I was cutting calories. I have talked to some of my friends my age who have ended up losing weight and they have said they just came to a realization that they should stop when full and then things just fell into place. That is where I am working to get to. However, some kids my age that lose weight lose it due to juuling and things like that because it’s an appetite suppressant. This I find extremely worrying cause not only are they damaging their lungs, they now think it’s healthy cause they are losing weight and think they are more attractive so they keep going.

  13. Thiat is the fucking shittiest editing I have seen in a long time. What sort of fucking asshole edits like that?

    I'll be the stupid fuck's next video has jump cuts between EVERY FUCKING WORD.

  14. THANK YOU!!!! finally, its the first time ever I hear a critique about weight watchers. I was ONLY 13 when I first joined their groups. I yoyo dieted since that age till the age of 19, when I finally accepted that it wasn't me who wasn't good enough for their program, that was only making me obsessed with my weight, food, looks- but also took my period away, slowed my metabolism drastically, and filled me with a lot of shame feelings. It's only with mental help that I managed to heal my relationship with food, with my body, and realising that all their program wasn't at all healthy as they sold it to me. I only lived from artificial sweeteners and non fat products. No wonder my period disappeared.. those programs are soooo dangerous. I wish they were illegal.

  15. OMG…. all of this crap is disgusting, but the "make parents happy" field…. that's awful. Like, I speak from personal experience, it's awful to know that your parents won't be happy with you if you look a certain way. That their love is conditional. Fuck WW for buying into that. It's fucking disgusting.

  16. I still remember being maybe 11 and my legally blind grandfather told me I didn't need to eat because I was fat…. Boom. Self conscious turned an eating disorder, binge eating, then bullied for 6 years, binge eating & purging then anorexic after that… I've been 145 to 275 pounds in the last 10 years…. While I am chronically ill and have several issues and can't exercise at all now. I understand that culture and people and can cruel. Keep kids out of this though. Be a parent, you provide the food they are eating!!! They don't need a food tracking app they need actively involved parents and positive role models in their lives.

  17. I'm always seeing weight loss products and strategies like meal replacement shakes, flat-tummy teas, every diet you can think of, intense workouts that go hand-in-hand with restrictive eating, just soooo much bulls&!t. But this is a whole other level of f&!ked up. Social media and money hungry companies are affecting people's views on food and body image as it is, so this is for sure going to f&!k with people's minds immensely. Thank you for posting this, Abbey. Weight Watchers and parents who have purchased this app need to be aware of the harm it's causing before it gets out of hand.

  18. Thanks for this Abbey. I totally agree with all that you're saying, and would love to hear your input on how to approach parents on this topic. I'm a speech-language pathologist who goes into low income daycares, so I see a lot of nutritional choices that are not ideal from caregivers. What are your suggestions for a caregiver-adjacent person (with expertise and qualifications that are dependent on child wellbeing) when it comes to nutrition in children (under 5)?

  19. WW was so weird and stressful for me because so many of the 'good foods' are basically empty calories that left me starved all day long. I honestly never lost a ton of weight with them and felt sick the three, YESSSSSS THREE, times I tried them out. Of course, when you sit down and do the nutrient breakdown of this it was literally because I was barely eating any protein or fiber ever. I also had mind boggling headaches and exhaustion constantly. Anyways, the light bulb moment hit for me with WW because we have to test my sons blood sugar and ketones daily – he has a metabolic disorder- and my husband casually said, 'Maybe this is messing up your blood sugar?' YUP.
    I was a dancer growing up and obviously during the late 90's – Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, SlimFast, and WW were huge. Also obviously, being a dancer comes with a dangerous territory of typical eating disorders. When I hit my preteens, my dad made a flippant comment about 'you probably don't want to have rootbeer floats too often' and I suddenly thought 'I must be fat!' So I spent junior high/high school not calorie counting but literally cutting my portions down to these insanely small portions. I literally obsessed over the idea of if I should only drink half of a Slim Fast shake or eat half of my Jenny Craig meal.
    This just moved into orthorexia when I left home because I thought that was the 'cure' to disordered eating – eating 'whole, safe, and healthy'. It's been a fucking ordeal, dude. I'm really glad I like myself now. You know – decades later.

  20. I was definitely scared as a young girl about my weight. My parents first told me I was fat/need to lose weight when I was 12. Which just caused me to skip meals and starve myself throughout middle school and high school. And guess what, I never got skinny. All I did was ruin my metabolism and I still struggle with my weight. I try to focus on my nutrition and staying active. Your channel has helped me not to hate food.

  21. The before-after example made me cry. That is so messed up.

    Abbey, you're amazing. Keep fighting the good fight! ✊

  22. Hi Abbey! It would be incredible if you made a video about a family chanel "Taina Licciardo-Toivola" I used to think she was right, she's vegan, I've seen some really problematic ideas she has, some like "pasta is bad food" and she's got many many viewers that can be misleaded by this thoughts

  23. Absolutely awful. I can tell ya from firsthand experience that having adults discuss that shit in front of you fucks you up. I can't even imagine the kind of damage this shitty app will do.

  24. Thank you for taking the time to make this video and inform the world. As a Health Coach and Personal Trainer, I believe that it is incredibly important to protect our public health and mindset.

  25. I don't even remember being able to have a healthy relationship with food. If I hadn't found intutive eating I probably would have continued my toxic relationship with food. I was never allowed to feel okay in what I ate or be able to try and lose weight in a way thF didn't ultimately lead to stravation.

  26. Honestly, weight watchers is a huge reason that I’ve struggled with food my whole life. My mom was part of the cult for a while. So from a very young age I “learned” that there was “good food” and “bad food.” This makes me unbelievably angry. I want to burn this company to the ground. (Metaphorically)

  27. I just found your channel for the first time today. My mom took me to my first weight watcher's meeting when I was 9 years old. I've been on and off every imaginable diet ever since. I am currently 51, obese, and type2 diabetic. Your video made me cry. I feel like my life could gave been so different. I'm still looking for a way to improve my health and lose weight for good. Thankfully, I have 3 healthy children in their 20s who have never been food obsessed or struggled with their weight because I always encouraged them to just trust their bodies- eat when they were hungry and stop when they were full. I, on the other hand, have always wondered why I am so broken. Thank you for making this video.

  28. Can you please do a video on HOW to eat intuitively and how you eat? Because for a lot of people who have been dieting for years the term “intuitive eating” is confusing.

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