Sunday, November 4, 2012

EDA or OA: Which is right for you?

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) or Overeaters Anonymous (OA): Which is right for you?
EDA and OA are very different programs, and it seems as though many people do not know the differences between the groups.

Deandra Christianson

Both programs are based on the Twelve Step and Twelve Tradition Program that originated in the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program. The programs are funded through the voluntary contributions of the members. Also, they seek to create a place of support for individuals with eating disorders that they may not feel alone. Though we are all unique, there are other people who are sharing similar experiences. There is no religious affiliation with either organization, and the spiritual values endorsed by the programs are to be interpreted by each individual, if they so choose.

The biggest difference between EDA and OA are the views of recovery.

“Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.” –OA
OA believes that an individual with always have an eating disorder. An individual must abstain from certain behaviors or food and is always in recovery. Compulsive eating is seen in OA as a ‘progressive illness.’ OA emphasizes an ‘action plan’ for individuals in the program. This is a plan surrounding food and behaviors to help a person abstain from his/her patterns of overeating. The group focuses on the spiritual, physical, and emotional impacts of overeating and stresses health in all three of these areas.

“Our primary purpose is to recover from our eating disorders and to carry this message of recovery to others with eating disorders.” –EDA
EDA believes that an individual with an eating disorder can recover completely. The organization does not endorse any rules or rigidity around food. It is believed in EDA that the behaviors were due to emotional distress that was expressed through food. EDA strives to help individuals learn safe and effective coping skills. The program’s goal is balance and not abstinence.

To find more information about:
Overeaters Anonymous (OA), go to
Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA), go to

At The Awakening Center, we have an Eating Disorders Anonymous program on Wednesday nights from 7:45pm-9:00pm. 

1 comment:

  1. This was a very informational blog! I was not aware how common yet different the mission statement of each organization was.