Meetings are gatherings of two or more compulsive eaters who come together to share their personal experience and the strength and hope OA has given them. They are usually held once a week and run from an hour to an hour and a half. Though there are many types of meetings, fellowship with other compulsive eaters is the basis of them all.
OA has about 6,500 registered meetings in over 80 countries. If you can’t find a face-to-face meeting in your area, consider an online meeting or telephone meeting. These meetings can be located under the appropriate tab on the Find a Meeting page. These are a great resource when face-to-face meetings can’t be found in your area or you find yourself housebound for one reason or another. Many of our members have found strong recovery through these meetings.
Meeting Definitions – According to the Traditions, bylaws and policies of OA, the only requirement for OA membership is the desire to stop eating compulsively. We ask each person attending to respect the meeting’s group conscience. All registered meetings welcome and give a voice to any person who has the desire to stop eating compulsively.
Open Meeting: Open to OA members and non-OA visitors. All meetings are considered open unless otherwise indicated.
Closed Meeting: Restricted to those who desire to stop eating compulsively (OA members and others who think they may have a problem with food).
NOTE: Not all meetings have a Special Focus or Special Topic.
Special Focus Meetings (gay and lesbian, women’s, 100-pounders, maintainers, anorexic/bulimic, etc.) are composed of individuals who feel they can more readily identify with fellow OAers with similar attributes.
Special Topic Meetings (Big Book Study, Lifeline, Speaker, Newcomer, etc.) have a defined topic of discussion.
Meeting Information — Please be aware that meeting information is as current as the communication the World Service Office (WSO) receives from the groups. Though each meeting shows a contact name and phone number, it isn’t necessary to call a meeting’s contact person to attend a meeting. However, the contact person can confirm the meeting place and time, give you directions to the meeting, and answer questions about the program.
Group Secretary Information — Registering a meeting ensures it will be listed in the WSO’s directory. The group secretary connects the meeting to the WSO, making sure that the WSO has current meeting and contact information. He or she is also responsible for distributing information from the WSO and service body—such as newsletters, surveys and other mail—to group members. When changes to the meeting details occur, submit them to the WSO using the registration/change forms on the Web site or download the PDF version of the form and mail to the WSO. It is vital that groups keep their meeting information up to date.
Alternative Methods to Finding an OA Meeting Near You — If you aren’t able to find a meeting in your city, please click on the Find a Meeting page and select the online or telephone tab. To locate a service body in your state or country, select the service body tab. Service bodies are central OA offices located in most urban areas. These offices are usually staffed by volunteer OA members who will be happy to answer your questions and assist you in finding a meeting in your area.
In the United States and Canada, you may also find a meeting by looking for Overeaters Anonymous in the local business white pages of the telephone book.
OA’s Suggested Telephone Meeting Format is designed for phone meetings. The format highlights abstinent sponsors, Seventh-Tradition contributions, Lifeline subscriptions and guidelines for phone meetings. The format now includes the Abridged Tools of Recovery, which makes it fast and easy to review all nine tools. And as always, the format contains Our Invitation to You and the list of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
A Virtual Services Committee has also created a Virtual Meeting FAQs to answer questions about phone and online meetings.