How are the food colors determined? - Noom (2024)

We use calorie density to categorize foods according to colors, which you may have read about in the first week of your program. The calorie density (CD) or energy density of a food is a measurement of the average calories per weight (in grams) or volume (in mL) of that food.

CD = Calories per serving / Grams per serving

The table below shows how we classify our foods:

Solid FoodsLow CD (<1)Medium CD (1 < x < 2.4)Higher CD (2.4 < x)
LiquidsLow CD (<0.4)Medium CD (0.4 < x < 0.5)Higher CD (0.5 < x)
SoupsLow CD (<0.5)Medium CD (0.5 < x < 1.0)Higher CD (1.0 < x)

Because our program helps you to manage various types of conditions and promotes nourishment through wholesome and fresh foods, there are some foods that may prove an exception to this calorie density rule.

Whole vs. Refined Foods

White and wheat bread or white and brown rice might have similar calorie densities, but we want to support our users in opting for the better option. To do this, the color of whole-grain foods will be adjusted (CD < 2.4=Green and CD > 2.4=Yellow).


  • Nonfat dairy is Green
  • Low fat dairy is Yellow
  • Whole fat dairy is Orange

Drinks with Artificial Sweeteners

We categorize diet sodas and other low-calorie drinks containing artificial sweeteners as yellow. Although they have no calories, many studies have shown that diet sodas don’t satiate your desire or thirst and they are super processed. We want to encourage our Noomers to consume these with caution because they can potentially contribute to weight gain and might have high sodium contents.

Alcoholic Beverages and Sodas

We adjust the color for these beverages to indicate lower consumption. These kinds of beverages are often high in sugar and contribute to weight gain without providing much nutritional value. Alcoholic beverages that have the CD of a green food are displayed as yellow, and sodas that have the CD of a yellow food are displayed as orange.

Reporting Errors

Sometimes there are discrepancies between your nutrition labels and our database. For those differences, we have a way to report within the app:

  1. Tap the Log your meals task card on the home screen.
  2. Pick the meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack) you want to log.
  3. Enter the food you want to log.
  4. Select More in the top right corner.
  5. You’ll see four options: Nutrition Facts, Flag a Problem, What does this color mean?, and Flag a Problem. Select Flag a Problem and indicate what the problem is.

Your new entry will get passed along to our food database team for review — but please keep in mind that it won’t be immediately added to our database.We have a dedicated team working to ensure that the food entries in our database are accurate and to make sure the nutritional information from the submissions from Noomers like you is correct.

How are the food colors determined? - Noom (2024)
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