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WW, formerly known as WeightWatchers, launched a diet and nutrition app marketed at children and adolescents this week and have faced immense backlash since.

Kurbo by WW is a free programme that claims to help eight-year-olds to 17-year-olds "build healthy habits", and lose weight through personalised coaching and food tracking.

The app's "traffic light" diet approach categorises foods as red, yellow and green (red being the most process, sugar-filled, yellow being lean protein and pasta and green being fruit and veg).

Kurbo by WW was developed at Stanford University, and WW have defended their programme by stating the app is backed by safe scientific studies. 

CEO of WW, Mindy Grossman, said; "To change the health trajectory of the world, we have a tremendous opportunity, but also a responsibility, to help kids, teens and families adopt healthy habits."

Many critics of the app insist that encouraging kids and teenagers to diet can perpetuate an unhealthy and dangerous mindset.

Fatphobic cultural messaging around dieting has led to a massive issue surrounding eating disorders and mental health among youth.

In an article published in Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics in 2015, researchers found that because adolescence is such an important time for body image development, 12-to-18-year-olds with a negative perception of their body or weight are more likely to develop eating disorders or dysfunctional exercise habits.

Of course, obesity can be linked to numerous health concerns but disordered eating and mental health conditions among adolescent is reportedly more likely to pose a dangerous risk than paediatric obesity.

35-to-37 percent of adolescent girls in the US alone report using unhealthy weight loss measures, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. These methods include fasting, smoking, taking laxatives and 'skinny teas', skipping meals and even vomiting.

One-in-three adolescents in the UK alone reported experiencing mental health issues, according to a troubling survey by the charity Action for Children. 

More than 12 percent of adolescents in the US are affected by depression every year. 

Many people on social media were furious about the Kurbo by WW app. Jameela Jamil, an activist and actress who runs the iWeigh campaign for body positivity, tweeted her disgust at the news.

“Are we kidding? Breeding obsession with weight and calories and food at the age of…8?" she wrote. "I was 11 when my obsession started, due to being put on a diet for being the heaviest girl in the class. I became afraid of food. It ruined my teens and twenties.”

Petitions have already been created against the app, with the hashtag #LoveNotDiets trending to urge parents to use love rather than diets to help their nutritional habits.

Childhood obesity is still an incredibly serious public health challenge of the 21st century, and the app attempts to reduce a child's sugar intake. There is nothing wrong with promoting healthy foods and exercising for physical and mental health benefits. 

However, many parents feel that instilling a diet-centered mindset among young people who are already vulnerable could be a dangerous mistake. Targeting the mental health crisis could be a more productive way forward.

Feature image: Instagram/@coachdavidflowers

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St John of God Research Study Day are currently presenting findings from their studies, which show a rapid increase of people presenting with gender dysphoria.

Today is the 28th Annual St John of God Research Study day, and features researchers and academics from the medical field displaying the results of their analysis.

Consultant Endocrinologist at St. Columcille's Hospital Loughlinstown, Professor Donal O'Shea, has stated from his own exploration in the field that 210 people presented with the condition last year, increasing from 10 in 2007.

This represents a 2100% increase over the entire decade. Dr. Paul Moran, Consultant Psychiatrist at St John of God Community Services, has joined Professor O’Shea to discuss the imperative needs of transgender people.

This vital talk comes just ahead of the launch of the National Gender Service, which hopes to make a difference in the difficulties which numerous members of the transgender community face daily.

According to Professor O’Shea:

“We see the most positive outcomes for patients experiencing gender dysphoria when a holistic and better paced transition journey is taken, with family support. I have observed patients who transitioned hastily, ultimately regretting the decision after irreversible treatment has taken place."

"The new national gender service has been established to address the rising prevalence of gender dysphoria and to ensure that those individuals who require this service receive the best possible holistic care."

St John of God Research Foundation Study are aiming to further examine the theme of 'an evidence based path to service provision; as well as interim results on the gap in mental health care for teenagers and young adults.

Another disturbing fact raised today stated that 50% of the general population who are experiencing mental illness are not being referred for child and adolescent mental health services after the age of 18.

The adult mental health services could intervene at this crucial time in the lives of those experiencing mental illness such as suicidal ideation, eating disorders, depression and ADHD.

The St John of God Research Foundation is presently being funded by the European Commission, and the landmark MILESTONE study is being conducted across 8 European counties, Ireland included.

Professor Fiona McNicholas, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at St John of God Hospitaller Services and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin is leading the Irish research on the MILESTONE study. She stated that:

“Mental health disorders are established early in childhood and for many persist into adulthood. The interim results of the MILESTONE study highlight that by not transitioning adolescents with established mental illness to an appropriate mental health service, we are leaving vulnerable teenagers without the support and medical care required."

"Without treatment, progress and recovery is hampered. Many will present only at times of crisis to emergency services, such as following suicide attempts or self-harm."

"They are prevented from receiving appropriate treatment that would help them live healthier lives, instead the huge percentage of young people not transitioning are more likely to be marginalised and experience homelessness, drug abuse and unemployment.”

Ireland's failure to effectively transition it's youth is not unusual for Europe. Broad European findings of the MILESTONE study which are being presented by Dr Helena Toumainen, from the University of Warwick supports this argument. 

Vanessa Lacey from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) will be speaking today regarding loss from a transgender family's perspective.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For more information. please visit the St. John of God website.

Other support services include the national LGBT helpline, BeLonGTo, and advice for parents and a guide for terminology.

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I've been a Macklemore fan for years, ever since he played to a crowd of 200 people in The Twisted Pepper in 2011. 

And obviously, he's come a long way since then, and I couldn't be happier for him. 

The platinum selling artist played in Dublin last night, to a massive crowd in the 3 Arena, and I went along. 

I didn't go with the intention of writing an article, however, it was quite the experience… an experience worth sharing. 

So I arrived at around 8.30pm (standard) and was greeting by a very large crowd of teenagers, and a handful of Gardai keeping the peace. 

Not an easy job, let me tell you. 

Anyway, myself and my pal went in and situated ourselves among the standing crowd, getting reasonably close to the stage. 

At 9pm, the show began, and from the very minute Macklemore came on stage, he was incredible. 

I'm telling you now, there are very few artists around these days who have the same levels of energy and enthusiasm.

He captivates an audience like no other, despite the fact that the audience was made up of 10,000 17 year olds, pissed as rats. 

He performed music from his numerous albums, including Downtown, Glorious and of course, Irish Celebration

He spoke about his love for Ireland, his Irish heritage, and how Dublin is his favourite place to perform – and I genuinely believed him. 

 

Taking in the magic. Dublin, 3 Arena. Night 1. : @rjmckinnon

A post shared by Ben Haggerty (@macklemore) on

He donned an Irish jersey, waved the tricolour, and put on one hell of a show. 

However, as I stood there taking in the greatness, it hit me – I am officially old. 

Now listen, I'm 26, and I know I'm not old, old, but the days of tiny shorts, scoring the face of random fellas and getting drunk on a Wednesday are well and truly behind me. 

And I'm not sure how to feel. 

I genuinely felt like an old fart at the concert, despite the fact that I've been a fan of Macklemore for years (back when the majority of the crowd were making their confirmation).

Anyway, it brought me back to my school days, and despite the fact that they were all HUGELY irritating, I felt very nostalgic. 

I don't think I  realised how much I missed being young and carefree, no job to worry about, no bills to pay, and no worries about being an adult. 

Back when I was a teen, my biggest worries were my boyfriend at the time, what I was going to wear to Wezz (HA) and whether or not I could drink a whole naggin. 

Of course, I WAS that annoying girl at concerts who a little bit too drunk, annoying the handful of adults that braved the event. 

And that made me think a little, and lessened my desire to flip the lid at all the young ones. 

I was 16, too, and I loved every second of it. 

It actually seemed fitting when Macklemore launched into Good Old Days – I even welled up a little.

 

Irish Celebration in Ireland

A post shared by enedikt (@der_benedikt) on

"I wish somebody would have told me babe, some day, these will be the good old days."

"'Cause someday soon, your whole life's gonna change, you'll miss the magic of the good old days."

Too bloody right pal. 

My point is, despite the fact that the crowd of drunken teens were killing my buzz, we've all been there. 

I kept reminding myself that they're making memories, the stories they'll still be talking about in ten years.

When they're old farts, just like me. 

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Three teenagers have been injured in a shooting in north Dublin.

The incident occurred at Shangan Green in Ballymun last night around 8pm. 

All three are currently being treated in hospital.

The injuries sustained by the teens are believed to be minor.

A source told The Independent that the incident is connected to a local feud.

The scene has been preserved by Gardai pending further investigation.

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We think it’s fair to say nobody really wants to do the washing up. It’s probably our least favourite job to do around the house.

That being said, there’s nothing more frustrating than arriving home after a long day and being welcomed home by a pile of dishes in the sink. Not one person has ever thought ‘oh joy, some three day old corn flakes for me to scrape off a mouldy bowl!’

One dad, absolutely fed up with his teenagers sloppiness, decided to take his words of warning to a whole new level.

He decided to warn them about the dangers that existed out there for those unfortunate souls too lazy to clean up after themselves.

Reddit user Iabuzan wrote: "My teenagers refuse to put their dishes in the dishwasher. So I put this above the sink." 

Borrowing a few now immortal lines from Liam Neeson’s character in Taken, the dad takes things a step further when he threatens the teen’s precious Wi-Fi connection.

He really knows how to stir up some motivation for housework!

It turns out his children are actually pretty competent in every aspect of life, Iabuzan clarifies they’re just “slobs” when it comes to house work.

Otherwise we might even call them pretty high achievers seeing as one graduated from college a whole semester early. 

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There are some arguments we have had with our mothers that are just a common issue worldwide. So it wasn't just your parents that were "annoying" and "unfair", maybe we were the problem? Dear god no, we take it back. Here are seven teenage arguments we are all familiar with. 

1. When you didn't call them late at night and when you did they complained 
We presumed they were in bed, we were thinking of their feelings while struggling to find a lift home at 3am. We are just so kind.

2. "Do you want help?" "No…I always have to do EVERYTHING around here."
Wait, what? That makes absolutely no sense. Just don't respond until she calms down…

3. "That dress is a bit low?"
Yes mother, it's a plunge dress. Teenage motto: If you've got it, flaunt it.

4. When they dragged you to places you didn't want to go to
Free pizza is the only positive here.

5. Asking for advice and then getting a life lecture
"Look mum, I know I shouldnt have shifted him but I didnt want your advice on that, I'm just wondering how you get a restraining order?"

6. When you said "But mum, everyone is going…" and she still wouldn't let you
And then you thought your life was over, but in fact, in two days when the Insta pics calm down you'd be over it. 

7. When you shouted at her for saying your friend gave off a bad vibe
Aaaaaand she was right. As usual. 

 

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It’s good to know that even the hottest musicians around went through an awkward teenage phase aswell! Presenter Eoghan McDermott posted a hilarious throwback snap of Kodaline during the week, saying: “THERE IS HOPE! Even if you are a nerdy awks teenager, you too can grow into a bona fide superstar sex god. @Kodaline.”

kod teen

And even Bressie, the most beautiful man in Ireland, wasn’t always as stylish as he is now – singer Dara Munnis posted a great photo of the singer hanging out with Mark from Kodaline, saying Laura Whitmore and Eoghan put him up to it: “Sorry @markkodaline and @nbrez. My least sound tweet. @thewhitmore and @eoghanmcdermo put me up to it. #Flashback”

bressie teen

Ah, these photos remind us of our own teenage disco days. Good times, even if they weren’t the most stylish!

 

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