Mary Foushi

I am a late stage food addict with over 20 years of stable weight loss, abstinence and recovery; I have been maintaining a 200-pound weight loss for 19 years — with NO bariatric surgery. As an active binge eater, I had lost 100 pounds five different times and each time I gained it back. In 1990 I was personally taught the addictive model of treatment for food as a substance use disorder. It has worked for me when everything else failed. For the last 16 years I have been working professionally with other late stage food addicts. I am a co-founder of ACORN Food Dependency Recovery Services (see I have worked with over 2,000 clients, most of whom had tried many diets without success, most of whom had been in therapy for eating disorders for at least a year with no long term success, and many of whom had tried food related 12-step programs without being able to achieve and maintain a stable food abstinence. I have written about my work with Weldon and Werdell in our book, Food Addiction Recovery–A New Model of Professional Support: the ACORN Primary Intensive, 2007. We include in the book outcome research on over 250 participants in the primary intensive; all became rigorously abstinent during the week-long residential workshop; one-third of those stayed stably abstinent for over a year, one-third had short relapse episodes but continued to make progress. I highly recommend that food addiction be added as a substance use disorder in the DSM-5. I would not be alive today had I not treated myself as a food addict, and millions more like me could be more accurately diagnosed and treated if food were recognized as a chemical dependency. Many food addicts also have the characteristics of Binge Eating Disorder, but my experience, both personally and professionally, is that this can only be treated psycho-therapeutically among late stage food addicts if the food addiction is addressed as primary. Thank you for your work in this critical area.

Mary Foushi
Executive Director
ACORN Food Dependency Recovery Services

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