What does data from mobile app Noom tell us about US eating habits?

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags Eating Food Milk

Butter, peanut butter, and bacon are the top three 'red,' or calorie dense, foods enjoyed by US users of Noom - an app that helps users track their food consumption and reach personal health goals.

By ‘red food,’ the app means “foods [that] are the most calorie dense. For a small amount, you consume a higher amount of calories,” ​according to a new report from Noom - which is available upon request at Noom​).

The app was designed to help users track their diets and reach personal health goals. Data crunched in the report came from app users, who log in their eating and exercise behavior to get feedback from a personal coach.

Mona Giabruno, director of marketing at Noom, told FoodNavigator-USA that Noom’s data scientists “focused on users across the world, what they’ve been logging, and pulling out the most frequently logged foods that are red foods.”

Noom is available in English, Korean, Japanese, German, and Spanish, and has had around 45 million downloads from around the world, such that its data provides a “[global] view of how cultures eat and what their most popular and caloric foods are," ​said Giabruno.

Though Giabruno said the sample size per country varies between countries (there are more US users), data comes from a number of users “at least in the millions.”

Savory cravings for Americans, sweet tooth for the rest

According to the data, these are the most frequently logged ‘red food” items by American app users:

  1. Butter
  2. Peanut Butter
  3. Bacon
  4. Cheddar Cheese
  5. French Fries
  6. Fried Egg
  7. Whole Milk
  8. Full-fat cheese, full fat yogurt (tie)
  9. Almonds
  10. Sugar

Interesting to note, most ‘red food” items logged by American users are savory, whereas the top 10 in other markets includes more sweet items such as marmalade, chocolate, candy, and cookies/biscuits.

Here are some other highlights from the Noom report:

  1. American users log the most ‘red foods’: ​28.8% of all foods logged by American users are calorie-dense. Following closely are Spanish and German users (27.2% and 27.1%).
  2. Butter is the fat of choice: ​For Austrian, Australian, Canadian, Swiss, German, British, and American app users, butter was the most logged ‘red food’ item.
  3. Chocolate and French fries transcend cultures:​ Aside from dairy products like butter, milk, and yogurt, chocolate and French fries had the most frequency, appearing in the top 10 list of 10 different countries.

Related topics R&D

Related news

Follow us


View more