“Picky eating” in children is relatively common. Yet, some children’s “picky eating” is so significant that it leads to negative medical consequences. In these extreme cases, children may be diagnosed with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). This diagnosis was first introduced in the DSM-5 (2013) when it replaced “Feeding Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood.”
Red Flags of ARFID:
There are three “types” of ARFID:
- “He was never interested in eating even as an infant”; Sleepy, agitated or distressed during feedings
- “He complains about the texture of foods”; Avoids certain smells, textures or colors
- “It started after he got sick and vomited so much”
- “It started after he had to get scoped” (esophagoscopy)
- “It started after he choked that one time”
Avoidance or restriction of food is NOT accompanied by disturbance in body weight or shape (as in anorexia or bulimia).
- Lack of interest in eating or food; Usually develops in infancy and persists into adulthood
- Avoidance based on sensory characteristics; Usually develops in first 10 years of life and persists into adulthood
- Concern about aversive consequences of eating; Vomiting or choking; Can arise at any age
To learn more visit: https://www.dukeeatingdisorders.com/treatments
Join Drs. Laura Boggs and Valerie Weener at the IPA Fall Conference for their presentation on this topic, titled: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.
Laura E. Boggs, PsyD, HSPP & Valerie J. Weesner, PhD, HSPP
Licensed Clinical Psychologists
Indiana University Health
Charis Center for Eating Disorders
"PsychBytes” is a weekly educational resource from the Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) provided for psychologists, their colleagues and their patients.