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What Is Food Addicts Anonymous?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including The Health Board. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By Hazali — On Jul 11, 2014

This article reminds me of the addiction that I used to have to flaming hot Cheetos. I didn't have to go to counseling or anything, but once I realized that I was gaining weight, I aimed for much more healthier snacks.

On a final note, remember that there's nothing wrong with eating your favorite foods. However, it becomes a problem when you overdo it. Besides, too much of anything is bad.

By RoyalSpyder — On Jul 10, 2014

Even though I wouldn't say I have a food addiction, in the past I did get very strange cravings for candy, which seemed to happen every month or so.

For example, a few years back, when I was living on college campus, there was a store nearby. Even when I wasn't hungry, I would go there and buy candy, just to fulfill my need for sweets.

Granted, it wasn't as extreme as some cases, but it's just a little example of what a food addiction can really bring to the table, in a literal and metaphorical sense.

By Euroxati — On Jul 10, 2014

In relation to what's being discussed in the article, I do think it's very interesting that some people's addiction to food can even be compared to a drug addiction. For example, even though the article doesn't mention this, sometimes people will consume large amounts of food when they're depressed. One of the reasons why this is so unhealthy is because they're not eating because they're hungry, they're eating because the food is like a supporter and comforter. Just food for thought.

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
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