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How Addictive Eaters Anonymous Works

Members of Addictive Eaters Anonymous (AEA) achieve sobriety by sharing their experience, strength and hope with each other and living the Twelve Step programme of recovery as a way of life.  By regular attendance at AEA meetings, getting a sponsor, working the steps, keeping in contact with sober members, and carrying the message of recovery to the still suffering addictive eater, members are freed from addictive eating and the obsession with food. 


Newcomers sometimes struggle to understand how AEA works. There are no rules and no one appears to be in charge. No one seems to tell anyone else what to do. This is because AEA members simply share what has worked for them. They are guided by the the Twelve Traditions of Addictive Eaters Anonymous. Members have found from their own experience that change must come from within and cannot be forced upon another person. At the heart of the AEA programme is the spiritual concept of surrender. When a newcomer is ready and asks a member for help, the following suggestions are generally made to them:


Regular attendance at AEA meetings helps members feel a part of the fellowship. At meetings, members share how AEA has worked for them and the difference it is making in their lives. Meetings offer newcomers the opportunity to get to know other AEA members, and see that there is a solution to the food obsession. AEA members have found attendance at open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous is helpful, to supplement AEA meetings.


A sponsor is a sober member of AEA who shares their experience, strength, and hope with a sponsee that they may achieve sobriety. Newcomers are encouraged to look for someone whose recovery they are attracted to, and ask how he or she is achieving this. An AEA sponsor will share with a sponsee how they found freedom from food and other substances. The sponsor will also encourage the sponsee to do service within the fellowship and to carry the message of recovery to other addictive eaters.

The Twelve Steps of AEA

The sponsor guides the newcomer through the AEA Twelve Step  programme of recovery. The programme enables members to find a power greater than themselves and live a useful, sane and productive life. The aim of working the steps is for AEA members to have a spiritual awakening, freeing them from addictive eating and the obsession with food.

Regular contact with sober AEA members

​Newcomers often feel that they should not phone other members as they may be intruding on their time. This is far from the case. AEA members know that the only way they can maintain their own sobriety is by taking the time to carry the message of recovery to others. By listening to sober members share how they overcome their problems by living the programme as a way of life, newcomers learn how to do the same.

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