2016 FA Membership Survey Highlights
Purpose of the survey
To provide information about the value of the FA program to our fellowship, to professionals, and to the general public in order to better carry the message of FA recovery to those still suffering from food addiction.
4,238 FA members took the survey from May 24 through September 19, 2016
- Survey link was posted on the FA website homepage for easy access
- Emails were sent to over 7,500 FA website profiles
- Paper copies of survey and multi-language telephone interviews were made available as needed
FA members from 26 countries participated in the survey, with most from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and Germany.
In the US, respondents came from 46 states, D.C., and 2 territories.
- 75% Caucasian or White
- 13% African American or Black
- 3% Latino or Hispanic
- 8% Distributed over other categories including: Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, First Nations, Bi-racial, Multi-racial, Indigenous Australian, South Asian, Mediterranean.
- 88% Female
- 11% Male
- 1% Other
- 62% of respondents were 54 and older.
- The age bracket with the highest response rate was 54-64, with 65 and over the next highest.
- About 5% of respondents were under 35.
Range of abstinence
85% of those taking survey were currently abstinent from addictive eating.
- 22% Less than 12 months
- 18% 1 to less than 3 years
- 13% 3 to less than 5 years
- 11% 5 to less than 7 years
- 10% 7 to less than 9 years
- 8% 9 to less than 11 years
- 5% 11 to less than 13 years
- 4% 13 to less than 15 years
- 7% 15 years or more
- 2% no answer
Mean = 5.6 Years / Median = 4.0 Years
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 twelve-step program.
- 8% found us through a health care provider.
- 6% found us through the Internet (and if we look at the people who have been in FA for a year or less, this jumps to 12%, so we are seeing an upward trend of people finding us on the Internet).
Some of the issues FA successfully addressed include:
- Emotional Eating
- Yo-yo dieting
- Bulimia / Vomiting
- Compulsive Dieting
- Restrict Food Intake
- Being Overweight
- Body Image Obsession
- Laxative Abuse
- Eating in Secret
For many respondents, weight reduction was one of the benefits of FA recovery.
- 92% reported weight loss from the time they joined FA
- 85% reported a weight loss of 20 lbs / 9 kg or more
- 52% reported a weight loss of 50 lbs / 23 kg or more
- 16% reported a weight loss of 100 lbs / 45 kg or more
Of those reporting they had weight to lose or gain, 40% reported currently being at their goal. Of these...
- 83% had maintained that weight for over one year
- 64% had maintained that weight for over three years
Survey Respondents Reporting Health Improvements
- 98% Mental Health Issues (n=3862)
- 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 those who had previous health problems, 46% reported that they had a health issue that had completely resolved in their time in FA. The most common categories for this were endocrine, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular.
- 93% reported improvements (n=1062)
- 48% reported their symptoms resolved (n=1062)
Type 2 Diabetes
- 94% reported improvements (n=630)
- 40% reported their symptoms resolved (n=630)
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:
- 32% for hypertension
- 27% for depression
- 20% for cholesterol
- 18% for anxiety
- 13% for sleep
- 13% oral medication for diabetes
- 5% insulin for diabetes
Long term members’ daily use of FA Tools
- 99% eating abstinently
- 87% Reading the 24 Hours a Day book
- 86% 30 minutes of quiet time
- 78% Reading the AA Big Book
- 67% 3 phone conversations with FA members
- 42% Writing
Quality of Life Benefits
- 93% are more hopeful about their weight
- 88% report a better spiritual life
- 83% remained abstinent through difficulties such as job loss or illness
- Over 80% have more fulfilling relationships, more stability and/or better stress management
- 71% reduced other addictive behaviors
- Over 50% have healthier exercise habits and/or better overall hygiene