The app calculates a recommended daily calorie intake based on the user's current weight and their goal weight. Using a daily plan that includes a food log, it allows the user to enter meals eaten, and receive instant feedback on calories consumed and the remaining calories left for the day. It also includes motivational tips, reminders and allows the user to log exercise. For a more detailed description of the app, see Google Play or iTunes and for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ This is a simple, user-friendly app with some effective graphics to see your weight management progress against your goals.
✔ The social media feature (group discussions) is well structured, well moderated, respectful, and supportive.
✔ The weekly check-ins by a coach allocated to individuals are sensitively done, and provide a personal touch.
✔ Daily reading materials and activities appear are helpful and appear well researched.
✘ Paid subscription after a 14 day free trial. From an equity perspective, low income users may find it difficult to use this app as they will need a smart phone, internet access and a fee to regularly access the content and group/individual support.
✘ The app provides the user with some (limited) feedback on food choices using a traffic light system or green, orange and red foods. This is often too basic to make sensible choices.
✘ Noom provides a lot to learn! They do regular consolidation activities (quizzes, repeated reading in different contexts, references to previous reading, encouragement to discuss, and the ability to save articles for reading again later). Users can get behind with their reading and tasks and it can be onerous to catch up.
✘ The content is really good but the writing needs to be proof read so that small grammatical errors and typos can’t distract the reader.
Date of review: October 2019 Platform reviewed: Android App version: 7.11.1 (paid version) Download size: 56.06 MB Updated on: 21/10/2019
The following references relate to articles about apps for weight loss.
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Last reviewed: 13 Aug 2018
Reviewer: Karen Day, Senior Lecturer, Health Informatics, University of Auckland Date of review: October 2019 Version: 7.11.1 (paid version) Comments: This app is most useful for people who want to gain a healthy weight. Noom specifically states that this is a behaviour change programme, and not a diet. The goal is to achieve a healthy weight and sustain that weight. Other benefits include a different attitude to food, psychological tips and tricks to develop healthy eating behaviour (and avoid unhealthy eating), improved mental health that affects eating behaviours, ability to assess information about food, healthy eating, healthy weight, and other diets using critical thinking, knowledge of a range of ‘diets’ and their risks and benefits, improved self-knowledge, confidence to sustain the new healthy eating behaviours into the future. Overall, this is a well-structured and well-designed programme for healthy weight achievement (it is not a ‘diet’ and they openly avoid calling it a diet programme) in the form of an app. It is based on excellent use of scientific evidence, i.e. it is evidence-based and the evidence is shared with users in a user-friendly and engaging manner. Safety concerns: Privacy and security – as with all apps, there is a risk of breaches. This app is password protected and users have individual accounts. Risk of oversharing in the social media tool. The conversations are closely monitored and moderated by Noom ‘coaches’. Risk of individuals experiencing mental health issues as their distorted thinking about food is explored. Noom uses CBT and DBT principles openly and a Noom coach checks in on individuals at least once a week to ensure safety and follows up if an individual doesn’t respond to the check in. New Zealand relevance: The app is appropriate and relevant to any New Zealander who wants to build health eating into their lives and deal with issues associated with overweight and or obesity. The app assumes that an individual is using it and so it doesn’t accommodate whanau or ‘real life’ support people as co-users. However, the visual aspect of the app is clean and easy to navigate and easy to show to others when the user tells their Noom story. Concerns: Most users are from the USA, with some from Canada and Europe and some from NZ and Australia. This means that empirical measures are used instead of metric measures, and the seasonal themes are opposite to New Zealand’s seasons. This is a minor issue."
Reviewer: Anonymous, NZ, August 2018 Comments: Having a coach to refer to, using psychology to help understand my relationship with food and how to tackle weight loss effectively for me. Bought a 3 week trial for $1 for pro version, would have appreciated a heads up before they were going to charge my credit card the full amount.
Reviewer: Dietitian App Review Working Group, Auckland DHB Date of review: July 2015 Version: 5.05 (free version) Platform: Android Comments: An easy to use self-monitoring tool for motivated people wanting assistance with weight management. Some concerns around daily calorie goals and database is American based often requiring amount eaten in ounces rather than grams. The app markets and strongly encourages upgrades to Noom Pro to allow the user further (promised) functions for a monthly fee. Safety concerns: The goal calorie intake seems low. All reviewers were set daily goals <1350kcal/day. There are no safety limits for recommended bodyweight range – or desired weight loss goals. New Zealand relevance: Many of the foods in the food database are not available in New Zealand - based on the foods available in the US.