What is ARFID?

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder in which a person restricts or avoids eating food, usually for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Extreme sensitivity or dislike of certain food smells, tastes, appearances or textures
  • Fear of vomiting or choking while eating
  • Lack of interest in eating

ARFID can lead to malnutrition (poor health because of a lack of nutrients or calories).

A person with ARFID does not restrict or avoid food because of:

  • Issues with body weight or body image
  • Lack of available food variety
  • Cultural or religious reasons
  • Another medical or physical condition

Who is Most Likely to Develop ARFID?

Children who are male, younger or diagnosed with another medical condition are more likely to develop ARFID, compared to children who are female, older or have no other medical conditions. ARFID is also more common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or similar conditions.

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