Symptoms of this eating disorder typically show up in infancy or childhood. A child may avoid foods with certain textures or colours, or a traumatic experience involving food, such as becoming physically ill after food consumption, may result in a fear of eating.
ARFID does not include experiences of body dissatisfaction or disturbances in the way body weight or shape are perceived. However, if left untreated, it can develop into anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa later in adolescence or adulthood.
Through this eating disorder, the body’s requirements for nutrition and energy are consistently not being met. This manifests in one or more of the following:
- Significant weight loss (or not achieving expected weight gain in children), or
- Significant nutritional deficiency leading to suboptimal development, or
- Dependence on nutritional supplements, or
- Marked interference with psychosocial, and potentially physical, functioning
Note: a diagnosis of ARFID requires that the inadequate food intake is not better explained by limited access to food or by a medical condition.
All information taken from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre website © 2014