About OA

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Learn About OA

What is OA?

Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and hope are recovering from compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues or fees for membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine. We take no position on outside issues. Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.


What does OA offer?

OA offers hope to anyone who struggles with food and compulsive eating . We are not a “diet and calories” club. OA members come in all sizes and experience different patterns of food behaviors. We share a common problem and find a common solution in the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and nine tools of OA.


The OA program relies on the foundation built on certain spiritual principles.  Overeaters Anonymous offers recovery to youth and young adults and hope to the friends and family of those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating.

Learn More from OA World Service

Is OA For You?

Now that you have found Overeaters Anonymous, you may want to make sure our program is right for you. Many of us have found it useful to answer the following questions to help determine if we have a problem with compulsive eating.

Take the Quiz

Our Invitation to You

Many OA Meetings share “Our Invitation to You” with newcomers. Consider this our OA Invitation to You.

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The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

The OA Twelve Steps are the heart of the OA recovery program. They offer a new way of life that enables the compulsive eater to live without the need for excess food.

The ideas expressed in the Twelve Steps, which originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, reflect practical experience and application of spiritual insights recorded by thinkers throughout the ages.

Their greatest importance lies in the fact that they work! They enable compulsive eaters and millions of other Twelve-Steppers to lead happy, productive lives. They represent the foundation upon which OA is built.

The 12 Steps of OA

The Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous

In order to strengthen OA unity and protect our primary purpose, Overeaters Anonymous has adapted by permission The Twelve Traditions first set forth by Alcoholics Anonymous. The OA Twelve Traditions help us stay united in our common cause.

These OA Twelve Traditions are to the groups what The Twelve Steps are to the individual. They are suggested principles to ensure the survival and growth of the many groups that compose Overeaters Anonymous.

The 12 Traditions of OA

Tools of Recovery

From “The Tools Of Recovery” (abridged). Used with permission.

We use tools—a plan of eating, sponsorship, meetings, the telephone, writing, literature, action plan, anonymity and service—to help us achieve and maintain abstinence and recover from our disease. Many of us have found we cannot abstain from compulsive eating unless we use some or all of OA’s nine tools of recovery to help us practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

OA Tools of Recovery
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Spiritual Principles

Like other Twelve-Step recovery programs, Overeaters Anonymous is based on core spiritual principles. In Step 12, members work to put these principles into practice in “all our affairs.”

Each of the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous can be matched with certain spiritual principles. Here are some:

Spiritual Principles of OA

Atheists/Agnostics

What If I Don’t Believe In God?

“The spiritual experiences and beliefs expressed by members of Overeaters Anonymous are as varied as those found in society at large. Some members have spiritual orientations; still others have come to OA with a history of religious conflict or do not accept the concept of God.

Find out more at OA.org

To the Teen and Young Adult

If you are a teen or young adult struggling with overeating, undereating, purging or other compulsive food behaviors, OA offers hope.

You need not feel alone. Teens and young adults have found recovery in Overeaters Anonymous. Teens can find recovery for overeating, undereating, purging and other compulsive food behaviors.

A few things the teen or young adult should know about OA:

  • OA is a supportive, safe place to share your struggles with food.
  • There are no “diets” in OA, and OA won’t tell you what you should or should not eat.
  • Anonymity means we guard each other’s privacy.
  • You will not be singled out for being too young, too overweight or too underweight.
  • In OA we help each other make responsible choices about our lives by listening and sharing our experiences.
  • Those under 18 are asked to attend meetings with a supportive parent or guardian. The parent or guardian need not sit in the meeting, but he or she should be available nearby.

Learn more about Teens and OA at OA.org!

Find out more at oa.org

For Family and Friends

Since the 1960’s Overeaters Anonymous has helped compulsive eaters of all ages and behavioral patterns. OA is for anyone who has the willingness to stop eating compulsively, including the overweight, underweight and those of a normal weight. You can find a local meeting at this website or meetings worldwide through OA’s World Service Web site.

For Family and Friends

Program Basics

Overeaters Anonymous Preamble:

Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively.

There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues.

Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors and to carry the message of recovery through the Twelve Steps of OA to those who still suffer.

Find out more

OA FAQs

Look here for answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Overeaters Anonymous.

FAQ's About OA