LORIS, SC (WBTW) – Healthy habits, smart eating, and exercise decisions for kids? There is an app for it.
Weight Watcher’s new app for kids, Kurbo, monitors diet and activity using a stop light approach and has parents and doctors questioning if this will benefit or harm children.
Green light foods are foods such as fruits and vegetables good at all times, yellow foods consists of foods you do not want to eat in excessive amounts but can still be healthy for you, and red foods are to be extremely limited or avoided.
Some parents see Kurbo having a negative and psychological impact on children as it targets children as young as eight years old. One local pediatrician’s response to the kid’s diet app pertains to the rise in overall childhood obesity statistics, looks at the benefits, and may take parents by surprise.
Little River Medical Center’s pediatrician, Dr. Orlando Valdez, sees the app having a positive impact in reducing child obesity.
Obesity statistics have risen from five to twenty percent in the overall population in the last few decades.
South Carolina is ranked 10th in overall obesity in the country and seventh for adults with diabetes. Dr. Valdez says this leads him to believe this app could be a positive interface between primary care providers, parents, and children.
Dr. Valdez says the app is a valuable tool when used properly with a medical professional’s guidance to educate basic measures of serving size, keep track of activity, and provides educational videos on the basics of healthy eating.
“This actually gives a way for there to be an interface between providers, parents, and the child to be able to accurately report what the child’s actual intake is, ” Dr. Valdez says.
The benefit of the app allows tracking of how many “red” foods have been eaten, use of a built-in tracker, and basic education of diet and activity.
Dr. Valdez says apps and visual techniques similar to Kurbo can be equally effective to multiple office visits and collect more accurate data information.
Doctors recommend parents follow their child’s BMI after two years to make sure they are getting the necessary nutrients, create healthy habits for their children at an early age and role model healthy behavior at home.