Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): Causes, symptoms and treatment – Livescience.com

Consultant psychiatrist dr amrit d mistry


It’s perfectly normal for toddlers to refuse to eat or even taste new foods, with most children naturally outgrowing the picky eating phase around the age of six. However, extreme fussy eating behaviors could also be a sign of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), previously referred to as Selective Eating Disorder. 

“ARFID is when someone avoids certain foods or limits how much they eat,” explains Dr Amit Mistry, consultant psychiatrist in eating disorders at Cygnet Health Care (opens in new tab). “This is not driven by an organic, medical illness or motivated by distorted cognitions related to body weight or shape such as anorexia nervosa. However, this can have a detrimental impact on daily social function, physical safety and can still lead to severe malnutrition too.”



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