Is Your Appetite Out of Control?
Hungry for Help
If you can't stop eating, you're not alone. Overeaters Anonymous (OA) began in 1960 with one mission: to help compulsive eaters. Some members are obese; others are underweight. What they have in common is an obsession with food. There are 6,500 OA groups with an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 members worldwide. A majority -- 85 percent -- are women. OA follows a 12-step program modeled after the one used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Members start by admitting they are powerless over food. Meeting formats may vary, but all seek recovery on three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. OA recommends trying six different groups before deciding on the one that's right for you.
However, the program may not be a good fit for everyone. According to a 2002 survey of members, 56 percent said their food obsession had been lifted, but 44 percent said it hadn't. For more information, go to oa.org.
-- Susan Koeppen, consumer correspondent for CBS News' The Early Show and our new contributor
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2007.
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