Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is an eating or feeding disorder that is characterized by a persistent failure to meet nutritional needs in children and early adolescence. It is more than “picky eating” and is not outgrown.
Children often become malnourished due to the limited variety of foods they eat because they will only accept a limited diet due to sensory sensitivity. Oftentimes the refusal of food is related to aversive phobic experiences such as choking, vomiting, nausea or swallowing.
ARFID is commonly confused for Anorexia because weight loss and nutritional deficiency are common symptoms. The difference is that ARFID lacks the drive for thinness that Anorexia enjoys.
The health risks include severe weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition and failure to thrive.