Giving Compass' Take:

• The Atlantic reports on a new diet app from Weight Watchers that is designed for children as young as 8, however, it has mixed views and results.

• How can donors best leverage their money to make an impact on childhood obesity? What partnerships can maximize impact? 

Learn about this program that seeks to tackle childhood obesity. 

Getting smaller is big business in America. Last year, the country’s market for weight-loss products and services reached an all-time high of $72 billion. Analysts predict it will only grow in the years ahead, in large part because of the potential for apps and tech products like FitBit and MyFitnessPal to capture the attention of young consumers, who tend to like data and hate the in-person meetings that many diet companies have required of past generations.

In this context, “young consumers” almost always refers to people over the age of 18. America’s childhood-obesity numbers have been climbing for decades, but children and adolescents also need to gain weight in their formative years to become healthy, strong adults. That can make creating healthy relationships between kids and food a delicate process, which is why it has historically been the province of doctors and nutritionists. Marketing weight-loss services directly to kids has been a public-relations third rail.

Nevertheless, last week, America’s biggest diet company went for it. WW, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers before it rebranded in 2018, launched Kurbo by WW, an app intended to track food consumption, physical activity, and weight loss in kids as young as 8.

Read the full article on childhood obesity by Amanda Mull at The Atlantic.