Advocating widespread acceptance of food addiction as a disease of substance abuse and the availability of effective, abstinence-based solutions.
The Food Addiction Institute (FAI) founded in 2005, is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to support the healing of all food addicts. To accomplish our mission FAI works towards the following:
The Food Addiction Institute was first conceived and founded by Phil Werdell, MA, long time food addiction professional and a leader in the field. It 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.
In the early years, FAI efforts focused primarily on collecting research that was slowly being generated that supported the validity of identifying food addiction as a distinct medical condition and food addicts as people deserving of and indeed requiring a distinct approach to treatment. At the same time, the Institute began to collect descriptions of best practices from leading treatment professionals. A growing list of publications helpful to patients and clients, and to healthcare providers was assembled, and has continued to grow as interest in the area has grown.
In January of 2017, the FAI Board of Directors significantly updated its mission statement. It now reflects greater emphasis on serving the needs of those afflicted with food addiction even as it continues to offer useful information to healthcare providers and researchers. The Food Addiction Institute has now also committed itself to playing a much stronger advocacy role.
Summary of Work to Date
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. Since 2005, the Food Addiction Institute working groups and committees have: