The company, formerly called Weight Watchers, acquired a scientifically-backed app-based program called Kurbo
Credit: Weight Watchers

WW is expanding their reach into a weight loss program for kids and teens, which officially launches today.

The program, called Kurbo by WW, combines a mobile app with tips and tricks for eating healthier with personal coaching over video chat and text.

“To change the health trajectory of the world, we have a tremendous opportunity, but also a responsibility, to help kids, teens and families,” Mindy Grossman, the president and CEO of WW, said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. “With Kurbo’s proven platform, we can be a trusted and powerful partner for families, as part of our mission to inspire healthy habits for real life, for everyone.”

WW acquired Kurbo in 2018 after their initial attempts to launch a weight loss program for teens was met with the criticism that the program was too much like a traditional diet and could hurt kids’ self esteem. WW then purchased Kurbo, which has been in existence for several years and is scientifically backed, based on Stanford University’s Pediatric Weight Control Program.

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In the program, kids 8 and up are taught to choose foods using the Traffic Light System — vegetables and fruits are all considered good choices, and colored green; yellow foods like lean proteins, whole grains and dairy are to be eaten mindfully and desserts and soda are red foods that should be limited.

Along with checking to see what colors their foods are, kids and teens are taught portion sizes and chat regularly with their coach.

“Alongside a distinguished group of leaders in pediatric health and nutrition, we’ve carefully developed this platform to be holistic, rewarding and inspirational so kids, teens and families get the tools and guidance they need to manage their environment and build and sustain healthy habits,” said Gary Foster, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at WW.