What is OA?

Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from unhealthy relationships with food and body image. Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors — including binge eating, restricting, starving, purging, and over-exercising — and to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer.

The OA program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). As our personal stories attest, the Twelve Step program of recovery works as well for compulsive eaters as it does for alcoholics. There are no dues or fees for members. We are self-supporting by our own contributions.

The fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous encourages and promotes acceptance and inclusivity. All are welcome to join OA and are not excluded because of race, creed, nationality, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other attribute. (“Unity with Diversity” Policy Statement, 2023)

Compulsive Eating Behaviors

OA members experience a wide range of compulsive eating and food-related behaviors, including:

  • Binge eating, grazing or compulsive eating
  • Obsession with body image, weight, or size
  • Preoccupation with diets, restricting, fasting, or starving
  • Laxative or diuretic abuse
  • Excessive exercise
  • Inducing vomiting after eating
  • Chewing and spitting out food
  • Use of diet pills, shots, or other medical interventions to control weight
  • Constant preoccupation with food

While our symptoms may differ, we in OA share a common problem: the disease of compulsive eating. This common problem has led us to find a common solution in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA, with the support of the nine tools of the program. Welcome!

Helpful Information