“My life revolves around when I can eat the foods that work for me.”
“I don’t think my teen can go to birthday parties because he won’t eat pizza!”
“How is my teen going to go on dates when she only eats chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese?!”
“We can’t go to a nice restaurant without worrying if my daughter will be able to eat anything?”
If you’ve said this or something similar about your child, you’re not alone.
What is ARFID?
Over the past few years, a new diagnosis in the DSM-V, called avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), has become more well known. This disorder can often be confused with “picky” or “selective” eating. ARFID is a restrictive eating disorder characterized by the limitation of food intake, but unlike anorexia nervosa, individuals with ARFID do not experience body image distress. There is also not a fear of weight gain involved. This disorder often goes undetected, yet ARFID can lead to intense social distress because individuals with ARFID may not prefer to eat with other people or they may take a long time to consume a meal.