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How to analyze community spirit in people’s weight loss journeys

healthy food

Sustained and proactive weight loss takes work, but it also takes guidance – and that’s where weight loss plans such as WW, Noom, Slimming World and Lighter Life come into play.

By being provided with a set of rules and in-person or online groups, users feel less alone on their weight loss journey, and part of a community. To understand the unique issues and advantages of each program, we analyzed forum conversations. Using Relative Insight’s text analysis software, we can compare two or more written data sets to uncover the unique linguistic attributes of each.

To pinpoint the most interesting area of comparison, we started with a heat map. This visualization shows the cumulative difference between the language seen from two data sets. By starting our analysis with a heat map, we can narrow down which two data sets will produce the most disparate insights. 

Image: Heat Map

The heat map compares WW, Noom, Slimming World and Lighter Life. Lighter colors represent higher difference percentages and darker colors represent lower percentages. We can see Noom and Slimming World have the most differences, while Noom and WW have the most similarities, and so we decided to analyze these two comparisons further.

Noom vs. Slimming World


Noom uses calories as a dieting metric, therefore and unsurprisingly users were much more likely to discuss caloric intake in their conversations. Noom users appreciated the simplicity of a caloric metric, as it’s easily identifiable and translates across all foods.

Image: Insight Card

Both programs are primarily food-based, but we all know exercise can be a key component to healthy weight loss. We saw that Noom users were far more likely to discuss their workout plans on forums, even if only discussing something like a brisk morning walk.

Noom users valued the educational component of the program, and often talked about lessons and interactions with coaches. Many people found inspiration in the program’s teachings, sharing their revelations with other forum users.

Slimming World

In comparison, Slimming World users were much more concerned with cost, compared to Noom customers. They were more likely to request cheap meal ideas and inquire as to whether the food required for the program is expensive.

On forums, these users appeared to be less weight-focused and more concerned with sharing recipes with the community. We observed fewer posts regarding weight loss journeys and goal weights, in favor of chicken and wild mushroom noodle bowls. 

Image: Insight Card

These food focused values extended beyond healthy meals into talking about cheat days. Many users expressed difficulty in preparing meals that fit within the program guidelines and required cheat meals or cheat days to satiate their cravings. 

Noom vs. WW


Both Noom and WW users were equally as likely to give the programs a positive evaluation using words like good, awesome and great. Forum conversations were overwhelmingly supportive, despite users facing weight loss plateaus and loss of motivation.

Image: Insight Card

Users from both Noom and WW were heavily focused on the number they saw on the scales. Forum conversations were less concerned with other metrics associated with health, like fat loss or strength gain – instead people spent a lot of time sharing their current weight, and weight loss goals.

These users appeared to have a support system outside of their chosen weight loss program, and they were equally as likely to mention friends and family in forum conversations. Many advocated for in-person support through group classes or participating alongside a loved one.


Despite these similarities, forum users chose WW over other options for one primary reason: the community. These people were more likely to use words like community, meetings, partner and accountable when discussing why WW works for them. Members found support both online and off from other members of the WW community.

Image: Insight Card

Weight loss is not one size fits all. All bodies respond differently to a program and require different levels of support along the way. Despite these differences, this competitor analysis demonstrates the importance of community and accountability when achieving goals.

Analyze forum conversations