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A Little Food Plan History

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Q.
When did OA stop publishing gray and orange sheet pamphlets?

A.
At the 1987 World Service Business Conference, a new policy statement was adopted, after which the gray and orange sheet food plans were removed from publication. The policy was amended and then rescinded but last read:

“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 to concern ourselves with our suggested program of recovery—the Twelve Steps” (Business Conference Policy Manual, 1987a [amended 1997, rescinded 2000]).

The above policy statement was immediately replaced with a new policy:

“No OA members shall be prevented from attending, sharing, leading, and/ or serving as a speaker at an OA meeting due to choice of food plan. Groups sharing food plan information must adhere to OA’s policies on outside literature, as well as copyright law” (Business Conference Policy Manual, 2000a [amended 2005]).

OA sold the rights to the gray sheet to another Twelve Step program and no longer owns the copyright for that food plan.

For more history on food plans in Overeaters Anonymous, I recommend reading Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, which includes two chapters on how food plans impacted the unity and serenity of our Fellowship through the years.

— Members of the Board of Trustees provide answers to Ask-It Basket questions


Read every business motion approved by OA’s worldwide group conscience. Go to oa.org/documents to download OA‘s Business Conference Policy Manual

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