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.
What’s going on
Interviews, art, blogs, and tips about mental health and wellbeing.
Hear about the impact of mandatory calorie labelling from a young person in recovery and a Senior Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
Videos about eating disorders from Nip in the Bud, an organisation set up to encourage awareness about mental health disorders in young children.
An animation (made by young people and FREED from ED) about social media, food, and young people.
Find out about FREED, a service that’s designed to give young people with eating disorders rapid access to specialised, evidence-based treatment and support that’s tailored to their needs.