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Initial release2013
Operating systemAndroid. iOS and web
TypeDiet and nutrition

Kurbo is a digital therapeutics program focused on sustainable healthy eating for children and teenagers.[1] The program tracks and manages nutrition, exercise and weight of adolescents. It operates through a mobile application and a website, providing health coaching from weight loss and behavior change professionals to tackle childhood obesity.[2][3]

Kurbo was acquired by WW International (formerly Weight Watchers) in August 2019[4] and continues to operate as a subsidiary of WW.


Kurbo was founded in July 2013 in Palo Alto, California by Joanna Strober, Mark Vershel and Thea Runyan. Strober had a teenage son who struggled with his weight. Unable to find a suitable weight loss program for children and teenagers, she collaborated with Runyan, who was a coach at the Pediatric Weight Control Program at Stanford Children’s Hospital, and Vershel to build a health and weight management program for adolescents.[5] The program is based on research on pediatric weight control and is licensed from Stanford University Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital pediatric obesity program.[6] It is known for its traffic light food classification system and portion sizing design.[7][8]


Kurbo is designed to teach children how to manage their eating habits in an educational manner. It provides a single set of APIs for the mobile application and online program to track and access activity data of the users. It is accompanied by interaction with a health and behavioral coach who provide personalized suggestions, feedback and encouragement to the users.[9][10]

Studies and feedback

A pilot program in 2014 demonstrated that Kurbo improved engagement and helped children reduce their BMI percentile.[11] This study analyzed the effectiveness of Kurbo’s program and inferred that increased coaching sessions led to increased BMI reduction.[12]

A New York Times article by dietician Christy Harrison and a statement by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) opposed the use of the app raising concern over children’s diet and psychological implications.[13][14]

In the media



  1. Newman, Katelyn. "An App to Fight Childhood Obesity". US News. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  2. Kendall, Marisa. "Palo Alto-based Kurbo Health tackles childhood obesity". The Mercury News. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. Mazziotta, Julie. "WW Launching Weight Loss Program for Kids and Teens". People (magazine). Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  4. Borden, Olivia. "Weight Watchers Aims to Bring Digital Wellness to All". Medium (website). Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  5. Perez, Sarah. "Kurbo Health Debuts A Mobile Service To Help Fight Childhood Obesity". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  6. Baum, Stephanie. "Kurbo raises $5.8M to support launch of app to reduce childhood obesity". MedCity News. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  7. Steinmetz, Katy. "Here's What Happened When A Woman Tried a Children's Weight Loss App". Time (magazine). Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  8. Shoot, Brittany. "Why Investors Are Banking on This App to Curb Childhood Obesity". Entrepreneur (magazine). Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  9. "Case Study: Fort Sill Army Base" (PDF). Kurbo.com.
  10. Jolly, Jennifer. "Tech to tame classroom bugs and bad habits". USA Today. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  11. Baum, Stephanie. "Kurbo raises $5.8M to support launch of app to reduce childhood obesity". MedCity News. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  12. Cueto, Victor; Wang, C Jason; Sanders, Lee Michael (15 November 2019). "Impact of a Mobile App–Based Health Coaching and Behavior Change Program on Participant Engagement and Weight Status of Overweight and Obese Children: Retrospective Cohort Study". JMIR mHealth and uHealth. pp. e14458. doi:10.2196/14458.
  13. Sole-Smith, Virginia. "A Weight Watchers App for Kids Raises Concerns". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  14. "NEDA Statement on Kurbo by WW App". National Eating Disorders Association. 16 August 2019.

External links

This article "Kurbo" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.