Behavior Change for Diabetes Prevention and Support

by | Aug 16, 2021

According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for more than 90% of all diagnosed cases. Another one in three American adults has prediabetes, and more than 80% are not aware of their risk. People with prediabetes can develop type 2 diabetes within five years, but knowing your status and taking action can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report details that 89% of all adults with diabetes are overweight or obese, a risk factor for diabetes-related complications. 

Being overweight can increase an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing just 5% of body weight (that’s 10 pounds for a 200 pound individual) can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%. But studies suggest that people with type 2 diabetes experience increased difficulty in trying to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Over the past 13 years, as Noom has pursued our mission to help people live healthier lives through behavior change, we have observed that our behavior change expertise can also help users with chronic conditions lose weight or maintain a healthy weight to manage their conditions.

Because of the interconnectedness of chronic illnesses and everyday choices, Noom’s platform already addresses diabetes and prediabetes. For example, a 2017 study showed that after 15 weeks using Noom’s Healthy Weight product, participants lost an average of 7.5% of their body weight and improved metabolic risk factors such as blood pressure, waist circumference, and glucose and lipid profiles. 

From the basis of our expertise in consumer weight management, we have developed two related programs for prediabetes and diabetes support.

Noom Diabetes Prevention Program

Diabetes Prevention Programs are designed specifically to help patients make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions that can result from the disease. Noom’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a year-long, personalized course that helps users reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by focusing on healthy habits. The program is built on the same principles that underlie our Healthy Weight program: psychology, technology, and human coaching. The program teaches users the lessons needed for successful weight loss, physical activity, healthy eating, stress management, and goal setting, and in 2017, Noom’s DPP was the first virtual program to be fully recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Participants have access to a one-on-one DPP Lifestyle Coach with specialized training, and a group of peers who support each other in how to build long-lasting healthy habits throughout the year-long journey together.  

Congress is currently considering the PREVENT DIABETES Act in both houses, a bill that would extend Medicare reimbursement to virtual DPPs, and greatly improve access to critical diabetes preventive services to the 57% of Medicare beneficiaries who live more than 25 miles from an MDPP supplier.

“Noom’s virtual DPP program delivers positive outcomes, and has the added benefit of being accessible anywhere and at any time, as part of our mission to help more people lead healthier lives. We urge Congress to expeditiously advance this bill as part of its digital health care agenda.” – Michal Rosenn, General Counsel

Noom Diabetes Support Program

Noom’s expertise and programs also apply to those living with diabetes. In 2021, Noom expanded its partnership with LifeScan to offer people with diabetes access to Noom’s Diabetes Support Program (DSP), in conjunction with LifeScan OneTouch® Blood Glucose Monitoring. 

Similar to Noom DPP, Noom DSP includes psychology-based articles and education, tools including tracking for carbohydrates and blood glucose levels, and specialized coaching to help users manage weight and blood sugar through behavior change. This is an expansion of the pilot program LifeScan and Noom began in 2020. 

“Noom’s behavioral psychology expertise can be easily adapted for conditions such as diabetes, where regular monitoring, engagement and support are critical components of success,” said Firdaus Bhathena, GM of Healthcare at Noom. “Together with LifeScan’s best-in-class monitoring tools, Noom’s Diabetes Support Program can help people with diabetes take control of their specialized health needs, manage their weight and improve key diabetes metrics with powerful tracking, education and coaching.” 

Noom and Diabetes 

Noom’s highly-adaptable behavior change platform can address a broad range of conditions and generate positive health outcomes for people around the world. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing health challenges of the 21st century, and health costs for people with diabetes are estimated to be 2.3 times greater than those without diabetes. People with diabetes have been advised to eat well, exercise regularly, reduce stress, and get adequate sleep. However, physicians have little time to spend with their patients teaching them how to implement these practices into daily living. That’s where Noom comes in: Noom gives you the how — and the why that empowers you to take control of your health.