Last week when I learned of the recent release of the Weight Watchers App for Kids I wanted to give WW the benefit of the doubt. I thought surely that a corporation that has access to professional Dietitians and some pulse on the current times might consider an approach with some understanding of the damage that diet culture can do to little brains. 

I did the research and it turns out that they really missed out on the opportunity to help kids in both body and mind. Instead of educating kids about how to nourish their body, they’re teaching kids the same BS diet “tricks” that so many generations before them learned. The same habits that keep people frustrated and unhappy their entire lives. The same habits that Path Nutrition works with clients to unwind. 

Yes, we help clients with weight, but we do it differently. 

Losing weight and dieting has become synonymous but there’s a better way. Dieting, the action of changing what one eats, is an action that can essentially be neutral but as a culture, our thoughts about it are all wrong, if not completely disordered. There’s so much fear driving dieters actions. The urgency to be thinner and the attachment to what people make that result mean often drives self- destructive behaviors that don’t serve overall health. Kurbo builds on this fear-based system through its misvaluing of food types and available goal options. 

There’s technically nothing wrong with changing what one eats or desiring a change. In fact, I’d agree that most people need to consume more vegetables and reduce added sugar. Yet, as a culture, we’ve created a message that the single result of slimness is the most important part, without regard for the actual health of mind or body. The diet industry creates endless ways to “become thin” and at any cost. Where has that landed us? Despite the billions of dollars that the diet industry generates people are still struggling. Now, they have developed an app that teaches kids these ways. What kind of message are we sending kids when one of the app’s goals are “make parents happy?” Yikes.

Weight loss is just one of many possible results our clients create for themselves by learning how to adopt a healthier mindset and nourishing their bodies. We help our clients gain a deeper understanding of their goals and build healthy mindsets about them. We teach them how to take action from a place of abundance and acceptance instead of fear and desperation. These shifts motivate clients to take actions that serve them long-term, not just for weight loss but for healthier happier lives. 

If we want the next generation to adopt a healthier lifestyle we have to start with us, the adults. We owe them more than an app. We owe it to them to become responsible for our own thoughts and actions. Let’s teach our children how to create results that serve them for life by being an example of what is possible.