I am writing this open letter to Samsung regarding the discontinuation of the weight-management in the Health App.
I am a dietitian and work mainly with kids who struggle with their weight. Many of those kids have either predisposing factors and or a combination of poor diet and misinformation regarding food. Many times we find underlying psychological issues because of bullying and loss of self-esteem. Often we consult not only the child, but the benefits spills over and affects the whole family.
Over the years we have tried many different tools from different manufacturers. The biggest hurdle has been compliance, to actually log the food in the app.
Samsung has been one of the best eco-systems I have seen on Android with the Samsung Health App. It doesn't scream "Fitness", like Fitbit and other apps. The last thing you want on your wrist when you are overweight or obese at school is a device screaming "fitness". If you haven't been bullied earlier, this will be the time you get bullied.
The kids / young adults have accepted the technology that Samsung has provided in their daily routine, especially the SmartWatch in combination with the Samsung Health app. The smartwatch and the phone are "cool" gadgets that have all features the kids want and offers the possibility of tracking your health.
The possibility to introduce a weight-management tool like the Samsung Health App has been essential. The kids will quickly pick up what is the high calorie food they should be aware of. They improve their relationship to diet and food. They understand that it is okay to eat food considered "junk food" if they do it now and then. They understand carbohydrates, fat, proteins and vitamins. If they combine the food-consumption with walking half an hour, they realise that they don't have to feel bad that they overconsumed food. Walking improves their stamina, and they suddenly start to run.
They see the positive effects and how their body transforms and they get inspired. Inspiration leads to positive feedback and suddenly, the compliance you didn't have, it is there! They are so happy and positive as they see their changes every day, every week, every month. It can be measured.
It is not only about looking good. It changes their habits. It changes their future prospects. Some kids do things they never dreamt of because of the confidence it gives them. Many develop a very healthy attitude towards food and physical activities. I can not express how important weight-management is as a tool. And even though the tool is not the absolute tool, it is a tool that the kids can understand, on their terms, without the focus on "Fitness".
After receiving several messages over the last two days not only from the kids in active consultation and their parents who have also adopted a healthier life-style using the technology, but also kids who have transformed into young adults over the years and want to know how to continue following the road ahead, I can only regret deeply that Samsung has taken this approach.
Samsung Health App and weight management is not a perfect tool, but it is the best tool I as a dietitian have seen over the years, and I have tested many others.
I hope someone senior enough at Samsung can report back to the top management what a poor decision this has been and I sincerely hope there is a way to reinstate one of the best tools for weight-management and health. This is indifferent if you are a kid needing that help to adopt a healthier diet or an adult who never get to it and need that push to start improving your health.
What is a health app without weight-management?
I feel for these kids. I know first hand how important it is to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle when kids prefer to sit and play games on computer instead of doing real sports.
What Samsung has done is a monumentally stupid decision.
Consider signing the petition:
There are quite a few of us who are very, very disappointed.