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Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

What is it

ARFID is an eating disorder.

People with ARFID avoid certain foods (or types of food) and/or eat a limited amount of food. There are different reasons that people with ARFID may avoid foods or limit how much they eat, including being sensitive to the taste, texture, smell, temperature, or look of foods; having had a distressing experience with food (like choking, being sick, or being in pain) that has led to them feeling anxious or afraid around food; and not recognising hunger or not having much of an appetite.
ARFID is different from other eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia because the way people with ARFID feel about their weight and body shape doesn’t affect their eating. They don’t restrict their food intake because they want to lose weight. People with ARFID can lose or gain weight and their weight can be low or high.
ARFID has a negative effect on someone’s physical health as well as their mental health – it can mean that people don’t get the energy and nutrients they need. It can also make it difficult for people to do things like go on holiday or take part in ‘social eating occasions’ like celebrations or sharing food with friends.
A young person with light brown skin is sat in bed, wrapped in a blanket and watching something on a laptop. They look sad and withdraw. Text on their bed reads: It’s OK to need help. There’s a poster on the floor with the Best For You website address on it.

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