What the science says (Pt 1): What is long-term weight loss?

by | May 21, 2021 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

One question that we’re sometimes asked is, “do you have any research showing that Noom is effective for long-term weight loss?” This question comes from users who want to know how to tell if they’ve been successful after trying to lose weight for a long time, or people who want to understand the scientific evidence behind Noom. This is an important question because with healthy sustainable weight loss, it’s not only about how much you lose but how long you can keep the weight off. 

It may be helpful to take a step back and to clarify what “long-term weight loss” means. This is a phrase that is used a lot – for some people, this means 6 months, and for others, it means 2 years. At Noom, we understand long-term weight loss to be 1 year or more, following both federal guidelines and academic research on the topic. And according to the same sources, high success with long-term weight loss having lost at least 5% of body weight at 1 year (or longer). This means that keeping 5% or more body weight off for at least a year is applauded by experts as a real achievement. 

Most scientific evidence shows that it is really hard for people to keep 5% body weight off for a year or longer and that most people start regaining weight as soon as 6 months later. That’s why it’s noteworthy that according to our peer-reviewed research, on average, Noom users lost more than 5% body weight by one year. According to another study, on average, Noom users had lost 6% body weight by 65 weeks, and that increased to 7% and 9% depending on how engaged they were. Finally, in a third study, Noom users lost 4.7% body weight on average while a control group gained 0.3% body weight by one year. It’s important to note that in all these studies, these numbers apply to Noom users who met a minimum level of engagement. But they still may mean that engaging in your Noom experience can help you as you seek to achieve long-term weight loss.