NHS: Computer Software

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 20th October 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguards are in place to prevent (a) children and (b) those suffering from eating disorders using the NHS’s Better Health weight loss app.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The NHS Weight Loss Plan app asks users to enter their height and weight to calculate their body mass index (BMI). If a user is underweight or a healthy weight according to their BMI, messaging is shown that explains this weight loss tool is not for them. App users who are underweight or at the lower end of a healthy weight are not prompted to use the app any further than the BMI calculation stage. The app also advises users to discuss their weight with their general practitioner if they have any concerns.

It is clearly stated in the initial ‘onboarding’ screens that the app is not suitable for those under 18 years of age.

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