Update on eating disorders: current perspectives on avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder in children and youth

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016 Jan 19;12:213-8. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S82538. eCollection 2016.


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new eating disorder diagnosis that was introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) fifth edition. The fourth edition of the DSM had failed to adequately capture a cohort of children, adolescents, and adults who are unable to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs, for reasons other than drive for thinness, leading to significant medical and/or psychological sequelae. With the introduction of ARFID, researchers are now starting to better understand the presentation, clinical characteristics, and complexities of this disorder. This article outlines the diagnostic criteria for ARFID with specific focus on children and youth. A case example of a patient with ARFID, factors that differentiate ARFID from picky eating, and the estimated prevalence in pediatric populations are discussed, as well as clinical and treatment challenges that impact health care providers providing treatment for patients.

Keywords: ARFID; avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder; eating disorder; picky eating; prevalence; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review