SoberRecovery Glossary of Recovery Terms
Overeaters Anonymous, also known as AA, grew out of Alcoholics
Anonymous and other 12 Step groups when people working other programs
discovered they could use to the same principles to end their
addiction to over eating.
The OA program uses the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, substituting
the word food for the word, alcohol. The OA program is spelled
out in their basic text, Overeaters Anonymous, often referred
to as the OA Big Book.
OA meetings or groups are found more than 52 countries. They
range in size from a few people, to as many as 50 or more. Most
groups meet once a week. Meeting styles include: speaker meetings
where one or two members share the story of their addiction and
recovery from a podium; discussion meetings where members share
their experience with a particular topic, and step studies where
members discuss their experience working with the 12 Steps. There
are also Big Book studies and meetings for special interest groups
like women only, men only, gay and lesbian only, etc. All meetings
are based, one-way or another, on the sharing of members experience,
strength and hope.
Membership in OA is informal. A person becomes a member when
they decide they want to stop abusing food and begin attending
meetings. There is no registration; no attendance is taken, although
the group’s secretary may note the number of people in the
room. The commitment to anonymity is taken seriously and people
can attend OA meetings with little fear that others, outside the
meetings, will find out they have joined.
OA meetings can be found in various ways. There are meeting lists
on the web. In the United States, Overeaters Anonymous can be
found in the white pages of most telephone books; a call to information
will also usually result in a phone number where meetings can
be located. Meetings in most western countries, and some non-western
countries can be found in similar ways.