Everything you need to know about Noom
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently estimates that more than 42% of American adults are obese. While some claim that weight is not a direct indicator of health, the risks associated with obesity are serious. Obese adults are up to 80 times more likely to have diabetes than people who are considered healthy weights. Obese adults also pay an average of $ 1,429 more per year in direct health care expenses.
Businesses and government agencies are trying to find innovative solutions to fight the obesity crisis and help Americans lose weight. Over the years, there has been no shortage of popular and weight loss diets, from Atkins and the South Beach Diet to, more recently, the keto and Mediterranean diets. But a health care startup that is rapidly gaining traction in the weight loss arena is Noom.
What is Noom?
Founded in 2008 by two engineers, Saeju Jeong and Artem Petakov, Noom is a personalized health coaching company with its own app. The company aims to help strengthen positive decision-making to improve the lives and health of its users. The app helps users lose weight, get fit and stay healthy using a 100% virtual platform. After the user has answered a few questions, Noom’s algorithm formulates a weight loss plan and pairs it with a coach who provides information, support, and dietary advice.
Noom offers a unique classification system for different types of food using an analogy to “traffic lights”: red, yellow and green. The app sorts foods based on their calories per unit volume (calorie density). Low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables are in the green category, lean meats and seafood are yellow, and various sugary snacks, treats, and drinks are classified as red. Noom recommends a daily calorie budget of eating 30% green foods, 45% yellow, and 25% red.
Users can get a personalized calorie budget to formulate a weekly menu. Meanwhile, the app hosts group health coaching sessions to motivate users and strengthen their commitment to weight loss. Without supervision, losing weight can be extremely difficult. In fact, about 79% of people who lose weight regain it after five years.
Does Noom work?
In a study of 35,921 users, 78% of participants reported a reduction in body weight after nine months. Of these, 23% said they had lost at least 10% of their body weight. Additionally, in a diabetes prevention program, 64% of diabetic participants who used Noom reported at least 5% reduction in body weight after just 16-24 weeks.
Although Noom has not been evaluated against other weight loss programs such as those developed by WW International (formerly Weight Watchers) (NASDAQ: WW) and Tivity Health (NASDAQ: TVTY), owner of Nutrisystem, the results are certainly promising. Noom has over 50 million users and is actively growing its member base year after year.
Is Noom worth the cost?
Users can subscribe to the Noom app for $ 59 per month on a monthly plan or pay $ 199 up front ($ 16.58 per month) for an annual subscription. However, discounts are available for novice users. It’s not cheap, especially for a program that doesn’t include meals, exercise classes, or in-person support.
To get the big picture, however, it’s also important to look at how much patients get for what they pay. If the weight loss program shows significant results, users could save up to $ 1,400 per year on obesity-related health expenses. In addition, there are the benefits of improving quality of life and increasing longevity. Noom represents an accessible, promising and mobile option for weight loss and health maintenance. It is an even better proposition if the cost of Noom is covered by the user’s company health and wellbeing program.
Currently, Noom is in the final stages of venture capital funding, with over $ 114.7 million in capital raised since its inception. In fact, the company may be planning to go public as early as this year. Alternatively, some public companies may be interested in acquiring Noom to take advantage of its hypergrowth and access to such a large number of users. Either way, investors should definitely keep this innovative healthcare startup on their watch lists.
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