Reviewer: Member of the public, Palmerston North, NZ, January 2022
Comments: Very helpful for calorie counting and keeping you on track. Excellent psychological theory explanations for eating behaviours and behaviour change. It worked well for me.
Reviewer: Member of the public, Auckland, NZ, September 2021
Comments: I liked the early stages of the programme. After reaching Noom Master it felt a bit silly at times, e.g. love languages ! For all the data they must collect the coaching felt disconnected and impersonal. E.g. after maintaining below goal weight for three months I was offered another free trial with a ridiculous lower weight target, billed for the free trial in a complex system with Apple and then in order to get a refund was https://dish.co.nz/recipes/hot-smoked-salmon-kedgeree(external link) given a trite runaround by coaches who sounded like robots.
Reviewer: Frances Arenhold, Dietician
Date of review: April 2023
Comments: Noom provides a tailored and structured platform to learn about eating behaviours and track weight and food intake. It uses nutrition and psychology scientific evidence and health coaching techniques to support users to lose weight and achieve their goals. It provides resources, reading and audio education and reflection material, as well as support groups, memes and recipes.
Safety concerns: None
New Zealand relevance: Yes
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)
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.