1962 At OA’s first Business Conference, then called the National Conference, it was adopted that:

We endorse as our only basic creed the only thing that OA in general subscribes to (from headquarters), the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. That this is the only basic program that OA (headquarters) believes as its creed. We acknowledge that these two things are the only creed that OA subscribes to, basically. (Rescinded 2014)

1977a It was adopted that:

The price be put back on the literature. (Rescinded 2001)

1979a It was adopted that:

AA-approved literature to be sold at the WS Convention with list to be submitted from the Literature Committee to the board for approval. (Rescinded 1989)

1979b It was adopted that:

Any activity (i.e., marathons, conventions, and retreats) not sponsored by a registered group, an intergroup, region, or OA as a whole be considered an outside enterprise not to be endorsed or promoted by OA and as such not appear in a world service publication. Any marathon, convention, or retreat that offers for sale any items that are not Conference-approved, be considered an outside enterprise and also not be publicized in OA publications. (Rescinded 1989)

1979d It was adopted to:

Pay founder Rozanne S.’s expenses to all future Conventions. (Rescinded 2015)

1980a Amended 1989. It was adopted that:

The purpose of each proposed amendment to the World Service bylaws be clearly verbalized by the proposing body. (Rescinded 2016)

1982a After a presentation/discussion on whether OA should produce literature on anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders, the following statement was adopted:

Overeaters Anonymous does not have any literature for specific eating disorders other than compulsive overeating. We welcome in love and fellowship all who have the desire to stop eating compulsively. (Rescinded 1999)

1982b After a presentation/discussion on using an OA/AA-approved literature list which includes the 1976 Business Conference Statement on OA/AA-approved literature, the following was adopted that:

The current World Service Business Conference policy on literature be a list (to be updated as necessary) which includes the amended 1976 Statement on OA-/AA-approved literature: “In accordance with our Traditions, we suggest OA groups maintain unity and protect our Traditions by selling only program books and pamphlets at their meetings. This would include AA Conference-approved literature and OA Conference- and board-approved literature. Intergroup- or group-prepared local literature should be used with the greatest discretion. Even then, we suggest that you submit it to the World Service Office for their information. This type of local literature should be considered temporary and discontinued when OA literature approved for general use is

available to cover the topic.” (The complete list which includes this statement, literature, and explanations is available from the World Service Office.) (Rescinded 2010)

1982d It was adopted that:

The Board of Trustees presents a written Business Conference report of all Board of Trustees’ policies, to be updated for each Business Conference beginning May 1983. (Rescinded 2001)

1982f It was adopted that:

Future Business Conferences begin proposed Bylaw Amendments directly following the last completely debated article of the previous year.

(Note: The intent is to apply this recommendation only in a year following a Business Conference that was unable to debate and vote on all proposed Bylaw Amendments due to a lack of time.) (Rescinded 2012)

1986a Amended 1996, 1998 and 2018. It was adopted that:

Overeaters Anonymous celebrate an annual worldwide Unity Day on the last Saturday in February in even years and the last Sunday in February in odd years at 11:30 a.m.

To designate the third weekend of January as the annual celebration of the January 19, 1960, founding of Overeaters Anonymous. (Superseded by 2019c)

1987a Amended 1997. A policy statement on food plans was adopted:

The OA 1997 World Service Business Conference, after careful consideration, believes that although many individual OA members choose to follow a plan of eating for their personal plan of recovery, offering food plans at OA meetings is a violation of Tradition Ten. While each OA member is free to choose a personal plan of eating to achieve abstinence, OA as a whole cannot print, endorse, or distribute food plan information to members.

Nutrition is a most controversial outside issue; the hiring of professionals to produce food plans for use at meetings also violates the Eighth Tradition, as we need always remain nonprofessional. Groups endorsing any food plans by distributing them at their meetings affect OA as a whole. We ask all groups, intergroups, and regions of OA to adhere to the above policy statement and discontinue the use of food plan information at meetings. We ought best concern ourselves with our suggested program of recovery—the Twelve Steps. (Rescinded 2000)

1987b It was adopted that:

One leave of absence for up to sixty days from all Board of Trustees activities and responsibilities may be claimed by any member of the Board of Trustees during each of her/his elected terms of office for any reason. (Rescinded 2018)

1988a Regions:

Regional Assemblies

Regions may meet more often for the conduct of business as necessary. (Rescinded 2005)

1989b Changes and deletions in the Business Conference Policy Manual were adopted. See sections marked Revised 1989 or Deleted 1989. (Rescinded 2003)

1992b Amended 2018. It was adopted that:

The World Service Business Conference establish an International Day Experiencing Abstinence (IDEA) to be held annually on the third weekend in November. (Superseded by 2019c)

1992d The following policy statement adopted that:

The World Service Business Conference resolves to welcome anorexics and bulimics in the OA Fellowship as full and equal members. (Rescinded 1998)

1992e It was adopted that:

The World Service Board of Trustees incorporates the job description of the general service trustee on the trustee application form. (Rescinded 2023)

1993d It was adopted that:

Beginning 1994 the World Service Office will charge a twenty-dollar ($20) nonrefundable fee to register a World Service Business Conference delegate. (Rescinded 2001)

1993e It was adopted that:

Until such time as the World Service Business Conference adopts concepts for OA, that all OA service bodies study and utilize AA’s Twelve Concepts as guidelines for their service. (Rescinded 1998)

1994c The World Service Business Conference 1994 adopted:

  1. The ultimate responsibility and authority for OA world services reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
  2. The OA groups have delegated to World Service Business Conference the active maintenance of our world services; thus, World Service Business Conference is the voice, authority and effective conscience of OA as a whole.
  3. The right of decision, based on trust, makes effective leadership possible.
  4. The right of participation ensures equality of opportunity for all in the decision-making process.
  5. Individuals have the right of appeal and petition in order to ensure that their opinions and personal grievances will be carefully considered.
  6. The World Service Business Conference has entrusted the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for the administration of Overeaters Anonymous.
  7. The Board of Trustees has legal rights and responsibilities accorded to them by OA Bylaws, Subpart A; the rights and responsibilities of the World Service Business Conference are accorded to it by Tradition and by OA Bylaws, Subpart B.
  8. The Board of Trustees has delegated to its Executive Committee the responsibility to administer the World Service Office.
  9. Able, trusted servants, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are indispensable for effective functioning at all service levels.
  10. Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority; therefore, duplication of efforts is avoided.
  11. Trustee administration of the World Service Office should always be assisted by the best standing committees, executives, staffs, and consultants.
  12. The spiritual foundation for OA service ensures that:
    1. no OA committee or service body shall ever become the seat of perilous wealth or power;
    2. sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, shall be OA’s prudent financial principle;
    3. no OA member shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority;
    4. all important decisions shall be reached by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity;
    5. no service action shall ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy; and
    6. no OA service committee or service board shall ever perform any acts of government, and each shall always remain democratic in thought and action. (Adopted into OA Bylaws, Subpart B 1998)

1995a It was adopted that:

Overeaters Anonymous designate January as “Media Awareness Month.” (Rescinded 2014)

1995b (updated 2013 due to amended 1984a) It was adopted to:

Remove abstinence as a Tool and replace it with a “plan of eating,” leaving abstinence as our primary purpose as outlined in the OA Preamble: “Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and carry the message of recovery through the Twelve Steps of OA to those who still suffer.” (Rescinded 2014)

1996b It was adopted that:

The Board of Trustees may discontinue reprinting low-demand pamphlets that are no longer cost- effective to reprint and maintain in the OA literature inventory.

Discontinuance of a pamphlet:

Conference-approved pamphlets that have broad application to the Fellowship and which fall within the lowest 20 percent of ranked total pamphlet unit sales shall be considered for discontinuance.

The World Service Office publications department will provide a quarterly report indicating the unit demand volume on each Conference-approved pamphlet for review by the Executive Committee.

Those pamphlets that consistently fall below the designated 20 percent of total unit demand for four consecutive quarters may be chosen by the Executive Committee for recommendation to discontinue reprinting.

The Executive Committee will submit a motion to the Board of Trustees for approval to discontinue reprinting those pamphlets.

If the Executive Committee motion is approved by the Board of Trustees, the designated pamphlets will not be reprinted and will be removed from the OA literature catalog when the remaining inventory is depleted.

Notification to the Fellowship shall be through appropriate WSO publications, such as Lifeline and

A Step Ahead.

A copy marked “discontinued” with the date the piece was discontinued will be maintained in the literature archives for duplication by the World Service Office for special requests. An appropriate amount will be charged for the time and cost of duplicating, mailing, etc. Unauthorized duplication of copyrighted discontinued pieces is prohibited.

For withdrawal of any Conference-approved pamphlet that is no longer printed; that is the pamphlet shall no longer be available for distribution to the Fellowship in any language, will require approval of the World Service Business Conference. (Rescinded 2008)

1997 It was adopted:

Effective with the World Service Business Conference 1998, there be established an additional per- delegate registration fee of forty-five dollars ($45) (adjusted annually for inflation as deemed necessary by the BOT). (Rescinded 2001)

1998 The following policy statement was adopted to:

Discontinue Conference-approved literature for reasons other than low sales, a two-thirds vote from the delegates present and voting at the annual World Service Business Conference is needed. (Rescinded 2008)

1999 Amended 2004 and 2005. It was adopted that:

An online or telephone group will be registered with world service as long as the listed group meets the following criteria:

  1. Takes place in “real-time”;
  2. Is fully interactive; and
  3. Fulfills the definition of an OA group as contained in Subpart B, Article V, Section 1 of Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. Bylaws. (Rescinded 2016)

2002a It was adopted that:

There will be a special Conference committee consisting of four members of the Board of Trustees, four region chairmen, and up to ten delegates to develop a plan of action to either strengthen the current OA worldwide service structure or restructure it. The result will be presented to WSBC no later than 2004. The chairman of the board will choose committee members. (Rescinded 2005)

2002b It was adopted that:

The Board of Trustees will investigate the feasibility of establishing a toll-free line for the purpose of public information and publish its reports to all service bodies by October 1, 2002. (Rescinded 2005)

2004a It was adopted that:

The WSO have proposal forms available on the OA website with detailed online instructions for submitting the proposals. The forms are to include an email address for the maker of the proposal. (Rescinded 2018)

2005b It was adopted that:

WSBC 2005 directs the Board of Trustees (BOT) to implement a matching grant program whereby service bodies may apply for and receive funds from OA, Inc. for projects enhancing unity and the ability to carry the message both within and outside OA. Total yearly funding for grants shall not exceed 1 percent of total donations to the World Service Office (WSO) for the prior year. (Rescinded 2011)

2006 It was adopted to:

Change the name of the HIPM (Hospitals, Institutions, Professionals, and the Military) Committee to Professional Outreach Committee. (Rescinded 2014)

2007 It was adopted that:

Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. conduct a Public Awareness Campaign using the services of an outside agency. Expenses connected to this campaign will be supported by member contributions to a special public awareness campaign fund established by the Board of Trustees. The BOT may use up to US$20,000 of current reserves for seed money to initiate the campaign. Such funds are to be reimbursed from the special fund established for this purpose. (Rescinded 2009)

2008b It was adopted to:

Create an Overeaters Anonymous media policy.

To raise public awareness, Overeaters Anonymous and associated service bodies may send press releases to or make use of special events/promotions in newspapers, magazines, television, radio, websites, billboards, and other means of public media, providing personal anonymity is maintained for members of Overeaters Anonymous. Contact names on media communication can include any special worker associated with public awareness as well as the first names of individual Overeaters Anonymous members. (Rescinded 2023)

2008c It was adopted to:

Create an Overeaters Anonymous public relations policy.

If Overeaters Anonymous is to continue to exist, it must continue to grow in order to fulfill its primary purpose of carrying its message to the compulsive eater who still suffers and to reach those who are not yet aware of the existence of our Fellowship.

We fulfill this primary purpose most effectively by attraction and cooperation—not promotion or affiliation. For the guidance of our Fellowship, here are definitions of those terms:

To Attract: To draw by other than physical influence; to invite; to draw to; to encourage approach

To Promote: To push forward; to further advance, as in a business venture (implies “hard sell,” advancement for profit)

Cooperation: Joint operation or action (implies coming together of two or more people to work together for a common goal or benefit or on a common problem)

Affiliation: Association or close connection; a uniting (implies lending one’s name, endorsement, legal, or financial partnership)

Overeaters Anonymous is attracting when it tells people why we are, what we are, what we do, and how; we let them know that we are available if and when help is needed. We state the facts, which are communicated via the press, radio, TV, internet, and films, always stressing personal anonymity at the public level.

Overeaters Anonymous is cooperating when it works with others*, rather than alone. Working with others broadens our scope and contacts and we reach more of those in need. Hiring outside contractors or service companies is not considered an affiliation.

*Examples could include, but are not limited to, hospitals, doctors, nurses, clergymen, treatment centers, educators, dieticians, nutritionists, employee assistance programs, and health spas. (Rescinded 2023)

2008d It was adopted to:

Create an Overeaters Anonymous public service announcements policy.

To raise public awareness, Overeaters Anonymous and associated service bodies may make use of public service announcements in appropriate newspapers, magazines, television, radio, websites, billboards, and other means of public media. (Rescinded 2023)

2008e It was adopted to:

Create an Overeaters Anonymous paid ads policy.

To raise public awareness, Overeaters Anonymous and associated service bodies may purchase ads in appropriate newspapers, magazines, television, radio, websites, billboards, and other public media. (Rescinded 2023)

2009a It was adopted that:

The World Service Office provides website templates for optional use by OA service bodies and groups in creating or revising their websites. (Rescinded 2023)

2009b Amended 2017. It was adopted that:

December 12 (12/12) each year be designated as OA’s International Twelfth Step Within Day, the purpose of which will be to encourage OA service bodies, meetings, and individual members to reach out to those within the Fellowship who are still suffering from compulsive eating behaviors. (Rescinded 2023)

2009c It was adopted to:

Establish a special fund to assist in the translating of OA literature, forms, correspondence, website, and other materials to languages other than English. Money in this fund is in addition to the Translation Committee’s budget. The BOT will establish guidelines to allocate the funds. (Rescinded 2012)

2009d It was adopted to:

Create a Web/Technology Conference Committee starting at WSBC 2010. (Rescinded 2019)

2010b It was adopted to:

Add a ninth Tool: “Action Plan.” (Rescinded 2014)

2014a It was adopted that:

Overeaters Anonymous email groups, commonly called loops (groups that do not meet in real time), may list their group on www.oa.org as a courtesy with the following criteria:

  1. Email groups must comply with the definition of an Overeaters Anonymous group as per OA, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B, Article V – Overeaters Anonymous Groups, Section 1 – Definition.
  2. The topic and/or focus of the email group are consistent with those listed on oa.org for Overeaters Anonymous face-to-face and virtual groups.
  3. New members must be informed of the loop’s policies, norms, and practices.
  4. Archives are to be deleted at least once a month unless the loop’s policies dictate otherwise.
  5. Email groups are moderated to stay on topic.
  6. The format of the email groups is structured similarly to a registered OA group. Postings to email groups are limited to the topic, the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions, or the Twelve Concepts of OA Service. Feedback, crosstalk, and advice-giving are discouraged.
  7. Each email group will have a coordinator who registers the loop with an email service provider and a secretary who will liaise with the OA World Service Office. (Rescinded 2017)

2016 It was adopted to:

Establish an OA Virtual Services Conference Committee. The committee would focus on virtual groups and would assist in forming new virtual service boards, presenting virtual workshops, and other projects that support the virtual groups and virtual service boards (VSBs). This will help build infrastructure and support for VSBs and virtual groups. (Rescinded 2019)

2017a The following policy statement was adopted:

Overeaters Anonymous will establish an ad hoc committee to consider the implementation/registration of a Spanish language service board (SLSB). The Spanish-speaking Fellowship will work with the BOT in order to establish how the SLSB will fit into the OA service structure. (Rescinded 2023)

2017c Amended 2018. It was adopted that:

The World Service Business Conference 2017 create a Sponsorship Day to be held annually on the third weekend in August. (Superseded by 2019b)

2018a It was adopted that:

The World Service Business Conference 2018 direct the Board of Trustees of Overeaters Anonymous to establish an ad hoc committee to research and delineate the best means and costs of improving, upgrading, and expanding the electronic “front door” of OA for the purpose of defining a budgetary amount for a “Welcome to OA” capital campaign. OA’s “front door” includes the oa.org website data systems and could include the development of a geolocator and real-time Find a Meeting app for smartphones, or other means revealed to be useful in the research. (Rescinded 2023)