In Overeaters Anonymous, you’ll find members who are extremely overweight, even morbidly obese, moderately overweight, average weight, underweight, still maintaining periodic control over their eating behavior, or totally unable to control their compulsive eating. OA members experience many different patterns of food behaviors. These “symptoms” are as varied as our membership. Among them are:

  • eating binges or grazing
  • preoccupation with diets
  • restricting
  • obsession with body image and compulsive weighing
  • laxative or diuretic abuse
  • excessive exercise
  • induced 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 Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions, and nine Tools of Overeaters Anonymous.