Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), previously known as Selective Eating Disorder (SED), is an eating disorder in which food consumption is limited based on the food’s texture, taste, smell, or appearance. Our eating disorder treatment center in California has found that the restriction can also be the result of a past unpleasant experience with the food. While the behavior is sometimes dismissed as the person just being a “picky eater,” ARFID is a serious condition that can have a variety of negative mental and physical effects.
ARFID is characterized by:
- Unwillingness to eat in front of others
- Evidence of nutritional deficiency
- Significant weight loss or failure to grow and gain weight as expected
- Highly selective eating that persists past late childhood and a list of preferred foods that may grow shorter over time
- Unfounded concerns about negative consequences of eating such as choking, vomiting, allergic reaction, etc.
- Poor appetite or lack of interest in food
- An absence of body image distortion or fear of weight gain
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