Calorie tracking watch aimed at children as young as SIX ‘could contribute to developing eating disorders’, campaigners warn
- The £19.99 Kids Unicorn Tikkers Activity Watch is aimed at children six and over
- Smart bracelet features a built-in step counter and works out calories burned
- Eating disorder charity Beat warned against the watch’s calorie tracking feature
A calorie tracking smart watch aimed at children as young as six could contribute to eating disorders in young people, campaigners have warned.
The £19.99 activity watch, manufactured by children’s wristwear supplier Tikkers, automatically records steps taken, distance travelled, minutes of activity and calories burned.
This smart bracelet is aimed at children aged six and over, and is available with straps decorated with pictures of butterflies, unicorns, cupcakes and rainbows.
While some have argued that the device could help tackle the growing problem of child obesity in the UK, Tom Quinn, of eating disorder charity Beat, felt it would have a detrimental impact on the majority of children.
A calorie tracking smart watch aimed at children as young as six could contribute to eating disorders in young people, campaigners have warned
He told the Sun: ‘Unless a tracker has been recommended by their doctor, there is no need for the average child to know how many calories they eat or steps they take.’
He said that while using a tracker would not be the sole cause of a young person developing an eating disorder, it could certainly contribute by encouraging unhealthy behaviours.
However Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, argued that obesity among children is a ‘major problem’ in the UK and the watch could help encourage young people to eat less and exercise more.
The device, stocked in Argos and Matalan, allows children to set fitness goals, track sleep and hydration levels and and receive social network notifications.
The £19.99 activity watch, manufactured by children’s wristwear supplier Tikkers, automatically records steps taken, distance travelled, minutes of activity and calories burned
An online description of the watch reads: ‘Our easy to use smart fitness tracker has all of the key features needed to keep active throughout the day.
‘The fitness tracker will automatically record daily steps and will monitor various sports activities to encourage an active day and you can set hydration reminders to keep that water intake up.
‘After all that activity, there is a sleep monitor to help reassure you that your youngster is getting enough rest. The touchscreen display allows text messages to be read as well as receive notifications when a call is received.
‘The tracker can also control your smartphone camera for great selfies! There is even a clever alarm to locate your smartphone should it be misplaced… Oh, and it even tells the time!’
MailOnline has contacted Tikkers for comment.
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