Study finds health coaching app Noom's weight loss outcomes comparable to that of traditional diabetes prevention programs

By Heather Mack
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People with prediabetes using health coaching app Noom achieved levels of success that are comparable to traditional diabetes prevention programs for weight loss and health management, a new study found.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal Open Diabetes Research & Care, found 64 percent of people using the Noom app lost more than 5 percent of their weight, which is comparable to the Centers for Disease Control’s findings from traditional diabetes prevention programs, and more successful than other virtual DPP providers.

Researchers studied 43 overweight or obese adult participants with a diagnosis of prediabetes who signed up to receive the 24-week Noom program that provides human coaching through a strictly mobile platform. Weight loss and patient engagement were the main outcomes.

Participants logged their meals, tracked their weight and engaged with coaches through the app, and became more likely over time to use other functions of the app to promote social support by posting messages to their group. Most of the participants – 84 percent – completed the program, and the 24-week mean weight loss was 7.5 percent for that group.

"The research from the mobile DPP found the positive effects of food logging, consistent weight checks and coaching relationships were consistent to the same effects seen from research conducted with an in-person DPP," Dr. Andreas Michaelides, Noom's chief of psychology said in a statement.

Noom started as a health and fitness program, but developed a behavior change platform to treat chronic and pre-chronic conditions, beginning with the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Since the first day the CDC began recognizing mobile and online DPP providers, Noom has been available, and the company believes it is highly scalable. 

"These results demonstrate there is an opportunity for employers and payers to significantly reduce their healthcare costs by implementing mobile behavior change programs like Noom's diabetes prevention program," said Michaelides in a statement. "It has comparable results to the CDC's in-person DPP without the high cost or the difficulty in recruiting. It's a game changer."