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What is ARFID? Explore Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Identifying ARFID

ARFID, or Avoidant/Restrictive Food-Intake, is a newly introduced eating disorder added to DSM-5 in 2013. ARFID is characterized by failing to meet nutrition needs due to restriction, avoidance, and aversion of foods; it can be sometimes confused with picky eating. This disorder is most common in children and adolescents, but it affects all ages. ARFID is different from other eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, as ARFID has nothing to do with body image distress.

Three Main Identifiers For ARFID

1. Restrictive: Overall lack of interest in food; Forgetting to eat; Thinking of eating as a chore; Low appetite; Distracted during mealtime.

2. Sensory Avoidance: Foods have strange or intense tastes, textures, smells; Sensitivity or over stimulation reaction; “Supertasters” – exaggerated degree of bitterness or sweetness; Fear of how food will taste in their mouths.

3. Fear of Aversive Experiences: History of scary experience with food – throwing up, choking, allergic reactions; Avoiding foods that have made them sick in the past; Discontinuing eating many foods due to fear of these outcomes

ARFID can be a dangerous condition as it can lead to weight loss and significant nutritional deficiencies.

If you or a loved one is struggling with ARFID, please feel free to reach out to Austin Counseling and Nutrition for more information. We are here to help! Call or text (512)655-3878 or contact us here.


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