“Will, only 15 percent of people in the United States exercise,” says Adam Fawer, general manager at Noom during our phone interview. “On top of that, 50 percent of the country is on a diet at any given time, and about seventy percent of Americans are considered obese.”
“Wait, let’s backup a bit,” I say. “Did you say that fif-ty percent of Americans exercise? Five – zero?”
“No, I said fif-teen, one – five,” he responds.
“Jeez, that’s a pretty frightening statistic,” I fire back.
“Exactly, and that is why Noom is so important,” says Fawer. “We are working to tackle one of the world’s biggest problems: obesity.”
Noom was one of the first apps developed for Android; their app serial number was 6. And when they began, their primary focus was on fitness tracking. However, they soon realized people were using the Noom app suite mostly for weight loss.
Noom Walk and Noom Cardio were successful, but the company decided to do a product reevaluation nonetheless. They thought long and hard about the aforementioned statistics and arrived at a new app to help decrease obesity.
Over the last year, Noom has turned almost all of their attention towards a new philosophy and direction with the Noom Weight Loss Coach app. Most other weight loss apps focus on counting calories and criticizing poor choices, but their new app focuses on actually coaching.
If Noom was truly dedicated to real and measureable health outcomes, they had to help people live healthier lives overall. Tracking cardio, weight, and walking is important, but they wanted to unite all three of those aspects into a bigger picture.
“We believe that weight loss is not about counting calories,” says Fawer. “It is about being motivated and supported to build stronger willpower.”
To that end, Noom Weight Loss Coach truly embodies the mentality of a good coach, providing motivation and positive reinforcement when people make healthy choices. If you log French toast and blueberries, the app encourages eating blueberries, telling you they are healthy and to eat more of them.
“The average American is not about statistics, graphs, and numbers,” says Fawer. “They want real outcomes: losing weight, having more energy, being able to play with their kids – that sort of stuff.”
To foster real outcomes, the team took their Noom Weight Loss Coach one step further, offering groups for pro members who want to share their goals, struggles, and successes. It provides a greatly increased motivational factor as well as support from a community who knows what you may be dealing with.
Everything Noom does is centered on motivation and support, and they chose the Android platform to deliver that philosophy to their users. Being able to roll out multiple updates a week without having to wait for approval ensures top-quality functionality and service for people who really want to change their lives.
“The size of the problem is staggering,” says Fawer. “But, we are making great headway; we just tracked our 100 billionth step on the built-in pedometer.”
Noom was featured at Tech Cocktail’s New York City Mixer & Startup Showcase on September 18th.