What is OA?
How did OA Start?
How do OA Members...?
Who are OA Members ?
How is OA Funded... ?
Who Runs... ?
What is OA?
Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who
meet in order to help solve a common problem compulsive overeating. The only
requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively. OA is a
non-profit international organization that provides volunteer support groups
worldwide. Patterned after the Twelve-Step Alcoholics Anonymous program, the OA
recovery program addresses physical, emotional and spiritual recovery aspects of
compulsive overeating. Members are encouraged to seek professional help for
individual diet/nutrition plans and for any emotional or physical problems.
How Did OA Start?
In January 1960, three people living in southern California began meeting for
the purpose of helping each other with their eating problems. They had tried
everything else and failed. The program they followed was patterned after the
Alcoholics Anonymous program. From that first meeting, OA has grown until today
there are approximately 7,500 meeting groups in over 50 countries throughout the
How Do OA Members Lose Weight and Maintain Their
OA is not a diet club, and makes no claims for weight loss. The concept of
abstinence is the basis of OA's program of recovery. By admitting inability to
control compulsive overeating in the past, and abandoning the idea that all one
needs to be able to eat normally is "a little willpower," it becomes possible to
abstain from overeating - one day at a time. OA offers members support in
dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms of compulsive overeating, and
recommends emotional, spiritual and physical recovery changes through the
Twelve-Steps. OA members are encouraged to follow a plan of eating. Each OA
member should consult qualified professionals for their individual
diet/nutrition plan, any medically approved plan of eating is acceptable.
Who are OA members?
OA members are men and women of all ages from all over the world who wish to
abstain form compulsive overeating and who wish to carry this message of
recovery to those who still suffer. Based on our 1992 Gallup survey of the
membership, the average OA member is a 44 year old woman who began eating
compulsively at 14. She has been an OA member for over 4 years and has lost over
40 pounds. She states that her emotional and mental health is the aspect of her
life that has most improved since joining OA.
How is OA Funded?
Overeaters Anonymous has no dues or fees for membership. It is entirely
self-supporting through contributions and sale of publications. Most groups
"pass the basket" at meetings to cover expenses. OA does not solicit or accept
Who Runs OA?
OA has no central government and a minimum of formal organization. At the local,
regional, and international levels responsible members serve OA and its
fellowship by volunteering to organize and lead meetings, conduct activities and
sit on the Board of Trustees.
The World Service Office is a service center whose main function is to carry the
OA message to the many compulsive overeaters who still suffer. The World Service
Office publishes and distributes literature, maintains records on all registered
groups, intergroups, regions and national service boards, and issues meeting
directories. The World Service Office also acts as a public information clearing
meetings worldwide, you may contact the World Service Office: