Does OA work for all eating disorders?

Many compulsive eaters who experience eating disorders other than compulsive overeating, including anorexia and bulimia, have found recovery in this program. While OA does not specifically address these other eating disorders, anyone who has problems with food is welcome at our meetings. Of course, OA cannot guarantee results for anyone, since results depend on each person’s willingness to participate in the program.

OA members experience many different patterns of food behaviors. These “symptoms” are as varied as our membership. Among them are:

  • obsession with body weight, size and shape
  • eating binges or grazing
  • preoccupation with reducing diets
  • starving
  • laxative or diuretic abuse
  • excessive exercise
  • inducing vomiting after eating
  • chewing and spitting out food
  • use of diet pills, shots and other medical interventions to control weight
  • inability to stop eating certain foods after taking the first bite
  • fantasies about food
  • vulnerability to quick-weight-loss schemes
  • constant preoccupation with food
  • using food as a reward or comfort

Our symptoms may vary, but we share a common bond: we are powerless over food and our lives are unmanageable. This common problem has led those in OA to seek and find a common solution in the the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions and  Nine Tools of Overeaters Anonymous.