A new app is putting a snarky spin on dieting for those who may not take their weight loss too seriously.
The app, called CARROT Hunger, aims to shame users into losing weight with a "tough love" approach, which may not be for everyone.
Welcoming users with "Greeting gluttonous humans," and "Oh, you're back," while referring to them as "meatbags," creator Brian Mueller said he designed the CARROT character to be funny and judgmental to help people cut calories.
"She has this hilariously sarcastic personality that's based on my mom, my sister and my wife," Mueller said of CARROT.
Similar to other calorie counting apps, users enter their food log into the app and it subtracts from the person's daily calorie limit.
If users want to cheat and go over their limit, they can pay the app via an in-app purchase to get extra calories. But if they cheat and don't pay up, there's a "public shaming" feature in the app that will tweet from the user's account to let followers know the person ate too much.
"I've gotten a lot of great feedback from users who say it's a great deterrent to over eating," Mueller said.
However, the app does have some dieticians worried that fat shaming isn't a healthy way to watch weight, and a study from University College London found that those who experience discrimination or negative interactions based on their weight are not encouraged to drop the pounds.
Kate Paulson, a clinical dietitian at the Mercy Medical Weight Loss and Nutrition Center in Des Moines, Iowa said the CARROT Hunger app wasn't something she'd recommend to her patients.
"Shames not the greatest motivator. With patients we work with, a lot of time you're your biggest enemy," Paulson said, adding that typically positive encouragement yields the best results.
But Paulson did say she thinks it might work for people who think it's funny and don't take it seriously.
"Some people may get a kick out of it and find it motivating as more of a joke," Paulson said.
Mueller said users told him that the app does work, although the style isn't for everyone.
"I've gotten a number of users who said they've lost anywhere from five to twenty pounds," Mueller said.
The other CARROT apps include, Fit, Alarm, and To-Do, and all use the snarky CARROT character to motivate users.
The app is free in the iTunes app store, it is not available for Android devices at this time.