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What is Addictive Eaters Anonymous?

Addictive Eaters Anonymous (AEA) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addictive eating.

AEA has members who have suffered from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Many have been underweight, overweight or obese; others were people of average weight yet suffered with an obsession with food. Members may have used exercise and other substances to try and control their weight. Before coming to AEA, members found that they were powerless over food, and unable to stop the food obsession.

AEA is not a diet or weight loss organisation. AEA members follow a Twelve Step programme, based on that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through working the Steps, members find a Higher Power and freedom from the obsession with food. Members share their experience with newcomers of how they have found sobriety. Sobriety in AEA is freedom from addictive eating and all mind-altering substances.


Addictive eating and eating addictively are terms used in Addictive Eaters Anonymous to describe obsessive or compulsive food behaviour, including, but not limited to, overeating, binge eating, undereating, starving, purging, compulsive exercise, the use of drugs to control weight, obsessive thoughts about food and obsession with body image or weight control.

AEA is not affiliated with any other organisation. AEA meetings are open to anyone. There is no cost to attend. 

Anyone with a desire to stop eating addictively can become an AEA member. Everyone is welcome in AEA, including family or friends of anyone who suffers from anorexia, bulimia, obesity or other forms of addictive eating. AEA also welcomes healthcare professionals and members of other Twelve Step recovery fellowships.

AEA members, known as sponsors, are available to guide newcomers, or sponsees, through the Twelve Steps. An AEA member’s primary purpose is to stay sober and help other addictive eaters to achieve sobriety.

AEA was established in Christchurch, New Zealand by a group of men and women, who have been recovering from addictive eating for many years through the Twelve Step recovery programme.  There are now members in recovery, as well as AEA meetings, throughout the world.

We have found a solution in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, as developed in Alcoholics Anonymous. We focus on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as our basic text, and the message of sobriety it carries.

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