HOW Groups

What is a HOW group?

Some OA members and groups choose to work their programs through OA-HOW. It is considered a subgroup of OA by many, known for its adherence to food plans and its disciplined sponsor/sponsoree approach. Whereas the OA program offers only suggestions and allows for individual flexibility, the OA-HOW method usually provides a set structure to follow. Both programs practice the Twelve Steps for personal recovery, but the philosophy regarding abstinence is different

What are the requirements for a HOW group?

The requirements for a HOW group are the same as for an OA group. Members meet to practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. All who have a desire to stop eating compulsively are welcome in the group. No member is required to practice any actions in order to remain a member or to have a voice (share at a meeting). As a group, they have no affiliation other than OA. A group may be formed by two or more persons meeting together as set forth in Article IV, Section 1 of the OA Bylaws.

Are HOW groups sanctioned by Overeaters Anonymous?

Yes. HOW groups must follow the Twelve Traditions and adhere to the bylaws just as all OA groups. For more information, see Policy 1992a in the Business Conference Policy Manual in the World Service Business Conference Final Report

Can you tell me where to find a HOW group in my area?

Due to the following policy adopted by delegates of the 1994 WSBC, the WSO does not track the special focus of any meeting, including HOW focus meetings: 1994b:

The Fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous recognizes the existence of special focus meetings (i.e., gay and lesbian meetings, women’s meetings, men’s meetings, 100-pounders, maintainers, old timers, etc.) which have been formed of persons who can more readily identify with fellow OAers with similar attributes. According to the Traditions, bylaws and policies of OA, the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop eating compulsively. We ask each person attending a meeting to respect and consider the group conscience. All registered meetings shall welcome and give a voice to any person who has the desire to stop eating compulsively.


Taken from the World Service Office F.A.Q. page: