Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health

Common Sense Media says

Fantastic health app empowers kids to reach goals.

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
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13
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to use. Every feature comes with a tutorial. Reminders such as "Don't forget to track your drinks!" and "Try a fruit popsicle instead!" help keep kids on target.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Although the app itself is free, the full Kurbo program with "human coaching" is $75/month.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

To register an account, users have to enter a name, a phone number, and an email address. Kids under 13 must have a parent's permission, and parents must verify consent. Device location may be used for some services. Kurbo's terms of use indicate that it has the right to report problematic or risky health behaviors observed through the information users enter, but the developer has no obligation to monitor for such information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health is a health app that helps kids age 8 to 18 track food choices, exercise minutes, and personal goals. The app and its related Kurbo coaching system are based on the Traffic Light Diet System developed at Stanford University. It categorizes food into green, yellow, and red choices to help kids learn to choose healthy options more often, without totally restricting any foods. There's also an exercise log, a goal-setting and weight-tracking tool, health-education games, and videos explaining each concept. Although the app is free, more personalized help is available through the Kurbo program's website, which includes live coaches. An Android version is scheduled for release soon.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • part-whole relationships
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • set objectives
  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting

Emotional Development

  • persevering
  • self-awareness

Health & Fitness

  • balanced diet
  • exercise
  • fitness

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kid-friendly graphics, a well-designed food-tracking system, games, and animated video tutorials give kids an assortment of ways to engage with the process of healthier eating and weight loss. 

Learning Approach

As kids play the games, they learn the Traffic Light Diet color system, which they then apply to tracking their own food choices on the app. Weekly challenges and coaching tips help renew kids' interest in making progress and learning more.

Support

Helpful video tutorials, step-by-step goal setting (which includes self-assessment scoring of motivation for and confidence in reaching the goal), reminders, and lots of data tracking are bundled into the app's easy-to-understand system. 

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • part-whole relationships
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • set objectives
  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting

Emotional Development

  • persevering
  • self-awareness

Health & Fitness

  • balanced diet
  • exercise
  • fitness

Kids can learn how to make healthier food choices and get tips on goal setting by using Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health. As kids apply the information they learn about the Traffic Light Diet System by watching the videos and playing the games, they are learning to set objectives, track progress, and become more self-aware of their diets and exercise habits. Kurbo Health's system is based on science and a balanced diet, so kids are applying sensible, reliable information to personal decision-making. Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health provides kids with an organized, informative way to increase health and fitness knowledge and develop a self-motivated, personal practice.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

What's it about?

Once registered, kids choose an avatar and begin to enter their goals and learn the system through animated videos. Then kids begin to track the foods they eat by typing in the food and viewing whether it's categorized as green, yellow, or red (some have more than one color). Kids can see their progress as well as how many "red" foods they have left for the week. Kids also can play games, read tips and reminders, try new challenges, and set new goals each week. This app is a multifaceted weight-loss-and-fitness system.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WEIGHT LOSS FOR KIDS AND TEENS can be an excellent system to help kids adopt healthier food and exercise habits. The app asks kids to identify their motivation for using it (among the many choices: "become more athletic," "please my parents," "lose weight") and then assess their own perceived level of motivation. This alone is a big step forward in helping kids take control of their own eating, weight, and healthy habits. When kids combine the right attitude and personally meaningful goals with tracking their food choices according to the app's food color system, they learn that eating healthier and exercising can help them achieve those goals.

Reminders to track food appear as push notifications on a kid's mobile device throughout the day, and, if they need more support, parents can pay for a human coach from the Kurbo program. This studied weight loss program combined with an easy-to-use app equals a potentially powerful change agent for kids who struggle with weight or healthy eating.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how to help kids succeed in their goals. Which foods in the green and yellow categories are favorites? Be sure to have a ready supply of those in your home. Which red foods make it difficult for your kid or teen to say no? Try to keep these foods out of the home most of the time.

  • Be supportive in fun ways, such as going for a bike ride or playing Wii Fit together.

  • Find some healthy cookbooks that show how to make traditionally unhealthy foods healthier with a few ingredient changes and new baking or cooking methods. 

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:July 26, 2014
Category:Health & Fitness
Size:53.10 MB
Publisher:Kurbo Health
Version:1.0.6
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later

This review of Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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