A person holds their stomach due to overeating

Over the years, researchers have noticed a strong link between eating disorders and substance abuse disorders. This phenomenon, known as comorbidity, has been well established in studies over the years (1).

Not surprisingly, many have found help with their eating disorders through a recovery fellowship that adopted a model famous for substance abuse disorders. Here we take a look at Overeaters Anonymous.

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are serious illnesses that are characterized by disturbances in an individual’s A woman sits inside of an over eaters anonymous meetingeating habits. These also commonly include disturbances with the individual’s emotions and thoughts about food and their body shape.

Contrary to popular belief, eating disorders are not lifestyle choices. If left untreated, eating disorders can be fatal. Common examples of eating disorders include (2):

  • Anorexia – characterized by extremely restricted food intake
  • Bulimia – characterized by purging (throwing up) immediately after food intake, often times after binge eating
  • Binge-eating disorder – characterized by loss of control over the amount of food intake

What is Overeaters Anonymous?

Overeaters Anonymous (OA for short) was founded in 1960 in Los Angeles, California. Since then, Overeaters Anonymous has grown to over 7,000 meetings in over 80 countries around the world. Overeaters Anonymous does not just seek to help with the weight issues associated with eating disorders. Rather, Overeaters Anonymous seeks to help with the physical, emotional, and spiritual issues associated with eating disorders.

Who is Overeaters Anonymous for?

The only requirement for membership to Overeaters Anonymous is a desire to stop eating compulsively. Overeaters Anonymous is for anyone who has a problem with an eating disorder. This includes everything from anorexia to binge-eating.

What is the Overeaters Anonymous program?

Overeaters Anonymous is based on the highly successful Twelve-Step Fellowships first pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. The Twelve Steps have been adopted by countless other fellowships, and for good reason: they work. Along with the steps, Overeaters Anonymous has regular meetings for members to attend and develop a support group. (3)

Find an Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Near You

Looking to get started by joining an Overeaters Anonymous meeting? Click here to learn more about an Overeaters Anonymous meeting in your area.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735899000094
  2. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml
  3. https://oa.org/files/pdf/oafinalmediamaterials.pdf