Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
What is ARFID?
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder classified by the unhealthy disturbance in body shape and image resulting in the refusal to maintain a minimum body weight. Individuals will go to extreme measures not only to starve themselves, but also to rid their bodies of any caloric intake they consumed through self-purging mechanisms such as self-induced vomiting, laxative, diuretics and extreme exercise.
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), oftentimes characterized as “extreme picky eating,” is an eating disorder impacting thousands of individuals, particularly children. The meaning of “fear food” in clients with ARFID differs from clients with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. For individuals with ARFID the fear may stem from knowing they must eat, when they have no interest in eating, fearing the temperature might not be what they like, fear of choking or becoming sick or fear of eating a new food.
Types of ARFID
- Lack of interest: clients with this type of ARFID have a genuine lack of interest in eating and food. They also get full quickly.
- Sensory Avoidance: clients with sensory avoidance have issues with food tastes, textures, temperature and smells.
- Fear of Aversive Consequences; fear of illness, choking, nausea and allergies