Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), previously known as “selective eating disorder,” is an illness affecting eating or feeding behaviors that can significantly impact a person’s physical and mental health.
Those who struggle with this disorder are typically unable to meet their body’s nutritional or energy needs due to sensory concerns or fear of unpleasant experiences such as choking or vomiting. Unlike some other eating disorders, ARFID is not characterized by an obsession with body shape or weight.
Many children, as well as adults, have foods that they choose not to eat because they dislike them. Some amount of “picky eating” is developmentally appropriate and normal in children. However, the eating or feeding behaviors associated with ARFID go beyond “picky eating” and can lead to significant disturbances in daily functioning and nutritional deficiencies.
Symptoms of ARFID
- Considerable, rapid weight loss
- A lack of growth or failure to thrive in children
- Significant, unexplained nutritional deficiency
- Problems eating in public places such as a school cafeteria or restaurant
- Avoiding or refusing certain foods (not related to a medical condition or food allergy) – or specific colors or textures of foods
- Fear of eating after a traumatic event involving food such as choking or food poisoning
- Extreme anxiety and fear about trying new or unfamiliar foods
The effects of untreated ARFID can cause serious medical, emotional and psychological consequences. However, when an adolescent or adult receives personalized treatment for ARFID at Center for Change, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms, develop healthier eating behaviors and achieve improved quality of life.
If you or a loved one may be suffering from ARFID, please reach out to us at Center for Change by calling 888-224-8250. Our medical professionals are here to help you with ARFID or any other eating disorder that may be an issue.