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.
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
did OA start?
What are the requirements for OA
Why are OA members anonymous?
Is OA a religious organization?
Does OA work for all eating
How is OA funded?
Who runs OA?
did OA start?
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 9,000 meeting groups in over 50 countries
throughout the world. How Do OA Members Lose Weight and
Maintain Their Normal Weight?
is not a diet club, and makes no claims for weight loss.
However, the average OA member loses between 40 and 99
pounds. 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. For weight loss, any medically approved plan of
eating is acceptable.
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are the requirements for OA membership?
are no "requirements" in the usual sense of
the term. The third of OA's Twelve Traditions states,
"The only requirement for membership is a desire to
stop eating compulsively." Nothing else is asked or
demanded of anyone. The acceptance and practice of the
OA recovery program rests entirely with the individual.
are OA members anonymous?
order to protect the identity of those who feel shame
about their obsession, members are asked to keep the
identity of other members to themselves. If a member
wants to say they are in OA, that is fine, unless they
say it to the media. OA wants its members to rely on the
principles that will help them overcome their disease,
rather than on OA personalities, who could one day
relapse and regain their lost weight. Every OA member
knows that relapse is always a possibility. Thus, OA
practices "principles before personalities"
OA a religious organization?
but it does have a spiritual foundation. OA members are
asked to define for themselves a "higher
power" to whom they can refer their program. Many
in OA refer to their higher power as God, but many
others take their higher power as the group, their
higher self, or even a feminine principle. Many atheists
and agnostics are included among OA's successful program
OA work for all eating disorders?
primary purpose of OA is to help compulsive overeaters.
Often the compulsive overeater also experiences other
eating disorders. While OA does not specifically address
these other eating disorders, anyone who finds help in
this program is welcomed at our meetings. OA cannot
guarantee results for anyone, since results depend on
each person's willingness to participate in the program.
is OA funded?
Anonymous has no dues or fees for membership. It is
entirely self-supporting through contributions and sales
of publications. Most groups "pass the basket"
at meetings to cover expenses. OA does not solicit or
accept outside contributions.
has no central government and a minimum of formal
organization. At the local, regional, and international
levels, responsible people serve the organization by
volunteering to lead meetings, conduct activities and
sit on the Board of Trustees.
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 house.
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