Food addiction 12-step programs are non-profit organizations, similar to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, that assist individuals in recovering from the disease of food addiction. While these programs are all very similar, food addiction support groups allow individuals to meet with others who also struggle with food addiction.

Like many other 12-step programs, food addiction programs focus around the idea that recovery from the addiction is possible – with the assistance of a support system, the twelve steps, and addressing all other issues associated with addiction. While food addiction is not necessarily considered a mental illness, studies have shown that this addiction can affect the brain similarly to the way that drugs or alcohol can affect the brain. Because of its severity, food addiction needs to be treated with a 12-step recovery process, as it is a disease that will only continue to worsen over time, having a negative impact on one’s physical health, emotional and spiritual being.

In each food addiction recovery program there are different tools of recovery for members to try and abstain from particular food cravings, foods and other behaviors that can lead to engaging in overeating or undereating. Other symptoms of a food addiction disorder include loss of control, tolerance, withdrawal and continued behaviors, despite what health consequences may be caused.

Every food addiction 12-step group is self-supporting through their own contributions, so individuals are not required to pay any fees or costs for membership. The only requirement for membership to any of these programs is the desire to stop overeating or undereating.

Here are 12 step programs that help with food addiction: 

Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA)

Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step program that focuses on abstinence from foods with sugar, flour and wheat. There is a food plan in place, not to help members go on a diet, but to help them make permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA)

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is a 12-step program that defines food addiction as the inability to abstain from certain foods, despite the negative effects it can have on the individual. While many members of the group struggle with overeating, Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous allows individuals with any symptoms to attend meetings, including purging, undereating, compulsive diet or exercise, obsession with food or weight or depression due to food, weight and body image.

Overeaters Anonymous (OA)

Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program for individuals who struggle with compulsive overeating, binge eating, bulimia and anorexia. The program encourages individuals to refrain from compulsive eating behaviors while working towards a healthy body weight by attending meetings and following a plan of eating. A plan of eating offers a daily guide that will help individuals avoid trigger foods and any other destructive eating behaviors.

More about 12 Step Programs for Food Addiction

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous

The program of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous began in 1998 by members who had the desire to recover from food addiction. The organization defines food addiction as the inability to abstain from certain foods, despite the negative effects it can have on the individual. While many members of the group struggle with overeating, Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous allows individuals with any symptoms to attend meetings, including purging, undereating, compulsive diet or exercise, obsession with food or weight or depression due to food, weight and body image.

“Sobriety” in the program is defined as the abstinence from foods like flour and sugar, and recommends abstaining from any individual binge foods. While food plans are suggested once members begin attending meetings and working the steps, the focus is not to create a diet plan; it is to address the symptoms associated with food addiction.

Food Addicts Anonymous

Its furthest roots dating back to 1987, Food Addicts Anonymous is for individuals who struggle with and want to recover from food addiction. Before joining the program of Food Addicts Anonymous, many of its members made many attempts to go on diets to try and change their eating habits, but they failed. Unfortunately, food addiction is a disease that cannot be cured by willpower or therapy alone. In the program, members can discuss their struggles with others who are going through the same problems and find solutions to recover from food addiction.

The program focuses on abstinence from foods with sugar, flour and wheat. There is a food plan in place, not to help members go on a diet, but to help them make permanent healthy lifestyle changes. While the food plan is just a suggestion, many members with longtime sobriety have attested that the food plan works.

Overeaters Anonymous

The longest running food addiction 12-step program is Overeaters Anonymous. It was formed in 1960 for individuals who struggle with compulsive overeating, binge eating, bulimia and anorexia. Now, the program is estimated to have over 60,000 members in over 75 countries worldwide.

Overeaters Anonymous helps individuals recover from food addiction by encouraging individuals to refrain from compulsive eating and compulsive behaviors while working towards a healthy body weight, attend meetings and follow a plan of eating. A plan of eating offers a daily guide that will help individuals avoid trigger foods and any other destructive eating behaviors. Because everyone has different trigger foods or foods they compulsively eat, everybody’s plan can be different and it is up to each individual to design their own. With the help of a sponsor, members can begin working the steps and seeing positive changes in their lives.