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Is a fat-shaming toy fit for impressionable young minds? | Barbara Ellen

The Fitbit Ace could lead to obsessive behaviour about health

A new Fitbit wristband called Fitbit Ace has been launched for children over eight. It will feature “reminders” for them to get active, undertake family step-challenges and also monitor sleep patterns. Thankfully, the calorie-counting device found on normal Fitbits has been disabled, but is that enough?

Bearing in mind the UK’s child obesity problem – according to figures from NHS Direct, a third of children between two and 15 are overweight or obese – some people may feel that the Fitbit Ace could only be a boon. However, that’s debatable. Children are already bombarded with harmful messages about body image. Overweight kids are teased. Normal-sized girls feel that they should be on strict diets. Even young boys are succumbing to anorexia. Do children need what amounts to a “fat-shaming toy”?

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