2016 FA Membership Survey: Results at a Glance
These findings are based on responses to an FA Membership survey administered by the World Service Public Information Committee from May until September 2016. Of an estimated membership of approximately 6,000, 4238 members responded. This was a voluntary, self-reported survey, neither constructed nor administered as scientific research or academic study. We encouraged all members to respond, regardless of time in program or experience with recovery.
Location: 4,238 FA members took the survey, with participation from 16 different countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.
In the US, where the program started, members responded from 46 states.
About 5% of our respondents were working the program in areas without access to nearby FA meetings.
Racial identification : 76% identified as White, 13% as African American or Black, 3% as Latino or Hispanic, and 8% were spread out over the other categories.
Gender: 88% identify as female, 11% as male in 2011 and 1% did not identify with these categories.
Age: The 54-64 age bracket was most highly represented, with 65+ a close second. In fact 62% of respondents are 54 and older, and about 5% are under 35.
Experience in FA: Respondents ranged from 0 to 38 years of abstinence from addictive eating. 85% of those taking the survey were currently abstinent.
About 20% of those responding had been members for less than one year, and 25% had been members for 9 or more years.
II. How did people find out about FA?
- 65% of those surveyed found us by hearing about the program from a friend, family member or co-worker
- 14% found us through another 12-step program
- 8% found us through a health care provider
- 6% found us through the Internet (Though among people who have been in FA 1 year or less, rate is 12%)
- 7% other ways
- Issues FA had helped members address At the top were:
- Emotional eating
- Being overweight
- Food cravings
- Obsession with sugar or flour
- Eating in secret
- Spiritual need
Other issues included under-eating, over-exercise, and laxative abuse.
IV. Health Benefits
Members were asked if they were able to reduce or discontinue medications with the help of their physicians, due to no longer needing them. “Yes” responses included (with n=4238)
- 32% for hypertension
- 27% for depression
- 20% for cholesterol
- 18% for anxiety
- 13% for sleep
- 13% oral medication for diabetes
- 5% insulin for diabetes
Among members who reported having had health problems in these areas, the following improvements were reported (with n=the number reporting having had problems in each area):
- 98% Mental Health Issues (n=3862)
- 94% Type 2 Diabetes (n=630)
- 93% Prediabetes (n=1062)
- 92% Cardiovascular/Circulatory Problems (n=2917)
- 91% Gastrointestinal/Liver Problems (n=2593)
- 90% Respiratory problems (n=1513)
- 88% Musculoskeletal Problems (n=3230)
- 88% Foot Problems (n=949)
- 82% Sleep-Related Problems (n=2978)
- 82% Headaches/Migraines (n=1339)
- 63% Urological Problems (n=1227)
Of the 628 members who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 94% reported improvement, and 40% reported that this issue was resolved and no longer a problem.
Of the 1057 members who had been diagnosed with prediabetes, 93% reported improvement, and 48% reported their symptoms had resolved.
In areas of mental health, 96% reported reduced anxiety, 93% reported reduced depression and 87% reported improvements in stress management.
V. Quality of Life Issues
- 93% reported being more hopeful about their weight.
- 88% reported having a “better spiritual life.”
- Over 80% report dealing better with stress, having better
- relationships, having more stability in their lives and being better able to get things done.
- `71% reported reducing other addictive behaviors.
- Over 50% reported getting better exercise and having better overall hygiene.
- 83% reported being able to remain abstinent while going though such difficult circumstances as job loss or illness.
VI. Weight management
Members also experienced improvements in weight management. Of those completing the survey, 40% reported being at goal weight, and of these:
- 83% had maintained that weight for over 1 year
- 64% had maintained it for over 3 years
92% of respondents reported weight loss, and of these:
- 85% reported a loss of over 20 lbs. (9kg)
- 52% reported a loss of over 50lbs, (23kg)
- 16% reported a loss of over 100lbs (45kg)