ARFID stands for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It is characterized by highly selective eating habits, often to the point of nutritional deficiency. Unlike anorexia or bulimia, ARFID is not driven by concerns about body image or weight. Instead, it’s typically related to sensory sensitivity, fear of adverse consequences (like choking or vomiting), or a lack of interest in eating.
ARFID can lead to serious health issues and impair social functioning. It’s often diagnosed in childhood but can persist into adulthood.
Examples of ARFID
- A person with ARFID might only eat a very narrow range of foods, limiting their diet to things like plain pasta, chicken nuggets, or white bread, due to sensory sensitivity to certain textures, tastes, or smells.
- They might avoid social situations involving food, such as dinner parties or restaurants, due to anxiety about the availability of their preferred foods or fear of negative reactions from others about their eating habits.