NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Weight Watchers has released a new app called "Kurbo," aimed at kids and teens. Weight Watchers calls it a "nutrition plan" to develop healthy eating habits for families, but critics aren't convinced.
"We can call anything a health plan, but it is a diet plan," said Heather Russo of the Renfew Eating Disorder Center.
Russo said that she believes that apps and programs like Kurbo can actually create eating disorders.
"The guilt and shame that comes along with potentially overeating, or even restricting those foods and then overeating them, the psychological aspects can really set somebody up for having disordered relationships with food and their body for a long time to come," Russo said.
The app color codes food for children, green for fruits and vegetables, yellow, foods they should limit like pasta and red for foods they should try to avoid like candy and sugary drinks.
"I actually do think it could have a psychological impact," said child psychologist Nava Silton, Ph.D. "When you have lights like green and yellow and red, I think red donates bad to people… and I think that's a real problem when it comes to kids."
Weight Watchers issued a statement responding to the criticisms, saying "Kurbo focuses on behavior change for healthier eating and more activity, not dieting or calorie-counting. Studies show that behavior-based weight management programs do not cause eating disorders."