top of page


The Food Addiction Institute (FAI) founded in 2005, is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to support the recovery of all food addicts.
FAI advocates for acceptance of food addiction as a disease of substance abuse and the widespread availability of effective, abstinence-based solutions.


  • Provide resources for food addicts;
  • Disseminate education about food addiction as a treatable chemical dependency;
  • Outreach to health professionals and organizations across boundaries;
  • Spread recognition of the distinction of food addiction as a substance use disorder;
  • Forge avenues for food addiction-informed approaches; 
  • Create forums for innovative and effective public health strategies that prevent, mitigate and treat food addiction;
  • Identify innovative practices for the treatment of food addiction;
  • Provide the platform for food addiction-informed experts, authorities, scientific research and professionals


Phil Werdell, MA, a long time food addiction professional and leader in the field, conceived and founded The Food Addiction Institute in 2005.
The Food Addiction Institute International Advisory Board was created with prominent scientists, clinicians, and leaders in the field of food addiction to proactively respond to the food addiction crisis within the obesity epidemic.
FAI initially amassed a collection of scientific evidence identifying food addiction as a distinct medical condition, identified best practices from leading treatment professionals, and assembled publications to assist healthcare providers treating patients and clients.
In January 2017, FAI committed to serving the needs of those afflicted with food addiction. 


​Since 2005, the Food Addiction Institute working groups and committees have: ​
  • Supported the writing of
    • several books on food addiction and
    • a series of scientific 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.
  • Developed an International Advisory Board consisting of leading scientists, clinicians and advocates in the field.
  • Created a three year professional training program currently administered by ACORN Food Dependency Recovery Services.
  • Joined the Food Addiction Research Group at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
  • Co-sponsored, with UMass School of Medicine, the first and second National Conference on Treatment of Food Addiction.
  • Helped develop the International Society of Food Addiction Professionals (ISFAP) in cooperation with the Refined Food Addiction Research Foundation (ReFA).
  • Initiated and coordinated annual food abstinent cruises for food addicts, their families and professionals.
  • Developed a pilot program for researching, educating and treating food addicted bariatric surgery patients.
  • Published “Physical Craving and Food Addiction: a review of the science.”
  • Supported the writing of several articles books in the field of food addiction recovery and treatment, including “A Tool Kit for Food Addiction Assessment and Treatment; the Basics from A to Z. For Physicians, Dietitians, Therapists and other Allied Health Professionals.”
  • Initiated a series of webinars on fundamental issues of food addiction treatment.
  • Wrote and pretested a three-fold pamphlet about food addiction for doctors and allied health professionals.
  • 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 FAI’s campaign: “Just Say It! Addiction to Food Is Real! Recovery is Possible.”
bottom of page