The Institute began in 2005 as a conversation among food addiction professionals and recovering food addicts about what was needed to effectively address the food addiction crisis within the obesity epidemic. The FAI International Advisory Board was created with prominent scientists, clinicians, and leaders in the field of food addiction; their role to date has been to respond to and sometimes involve themselves in projects of ad hoc work groups. In six years, the Food Addiction Institute work groups have:
- Supported the writing of several books on food addiction and a series of science review articles on the major characteristics of Substance Use Disorders in relation to food.
- Compiled and posted a bibliography of 2,733 peer reviewed articles and books on the science of food addiction.
- Created a three year Professional Training program currently administered by ACORN Food Dependency Recovery Services.
- Helped develop the International Society of Food Addiction Professionals (ISFAP) in cooperation with the Refined Food Addiction Research Foundation (ReFA).
- Initiated and coordinated yearly food abstinent cruises for food addicts, their families and professionals who serve them.
- Supported the development of new recovery houses for food addicts.
- Organized an educational campaign to add food addiction as a Substance Use Disorder in the DSM5 of the American Psychiatric Association.
- Created and launched a new website.