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A Brief History of Addictive Eaters Anonymous

Addictive Eaters Anonymous (AEA) includes members who have been sober for decades through practising the principles outlined in AEA’s Twelve Steps. Newcomers may ask how someone can be sober for decades when the AEA fellowship was only established in 2017.

In truth, AEA’s programme of recovery began long before AEA existed as a fellowship. The AEA story began in 1980 when two individuals, who would later help found AEA, joined a food recovery fellowship in New Zealand. Over time, these and other members found that addiction can switch from one substance to another, and that in order to get well they needed to be free of all mind-altering substances. They came to realise that food is a symptom of a wider problem, the disease of addiction.

As their concept of what constituted sobriety developed, it became apparent that the members now in AEA needed to go in a different direction. They formed a new fellowship, based around freedom from addictive eating and all mind-altering substances. Today’s AEA groups remain committed to this same strong message, first carried by the early members.

The first Addictive Eaters Anonymous meeting was held in Christchurch, New Zealand in April 2017. AEA is now thriving in other parts of the world. A General Service Committee, which supports the structure of the worldwide fellowship, was established in February 2018.

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