Food Addicts Anonymous is a recovery program for individuals who feel that they have an addictive relationship to food, and who wish to address and control that addiction with group support. Started in the US state of Florida, Food Addicts Anonymous now has a presence throughout the US as well as in several other countries, and can even be participated in remotely through Internet or phone meetings. Participation is free, and open to both those who overeat and those who under-eat. The organization is based on the notion that some individuals are physically addicted to sugar, wheat, and flour, and participants are encouraged to adopt an eating plan built around abstinence from these foods. Food Addicts Anonymous is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, and as such divides the recovery experience into 12 steps.
Started in the US state of Florida in 1987, as of the early 21st century, Food Addicts Anonymous has a presence throughout the US. Meetings are also held in Canada as well as in several European countries. Frequent dial-in telephone meetings and Internet-based meetings even allow individuals to participate in the program remotely.
Participation in Food Addicts Anonymous is free, and the organization is funded solely through donations from participants. The program is open to anyone who believes he has an addictive relationship to food, and who has a desire to abstain from the foods to which he is addicted. Therefore, participants include not only those who overeat, but also those who deliberately under-eat or use medication and excessive exercise in an attempt to control a troubled relationship with addictive foods.
The underlying assumption of Food Addicts Anonymous is the notion that certain individuals are physically addicted to sugar, wheat, and flour, and that this addiction negatively impacts these individuals’ lives much the same way alcohol or drug addiction can. As such, participants in the program are encouraged to adopt an eating plan built around abstinence from these ingredients. It should be noted that weight loss is not the goal of this eating plan, and it is thus not referred to by program participants as a diet. Instead, the object of the plan is to allow food-addicted individuals to achieve abstinence from those ingredients upon which they were formerly dependent.
As it is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, Food Addicts Anonymous divides the recovery period into 12 steps. These include such stages as admitting one’s powerlessness and making amends with those negatively affected by one’s addiction. Progress through these steps is generally facilitated through meeting attendance, correspondence with a sponsor, and abstinence from those foods which the program identifies as addictive.