When Picky Eating Becomes A Disorder

Posted on January 6, 2016

Many children refuse to eat their vegetables but for some this goes beyond 'picky eating'. In severe cases, abnormal eating patterns can lead to dangerously low body weight or nutrient deficiencies.

The diagnosis of Avoidant/ Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is largely unused due to the general lack of awareness. Eating-disorder experts created the diagnosis of ARFID to improve treatment of these patients and facilitate research into their condition.

Those diagnosed with ARFID are significantly different from those with other eating disorders. More boys than girls are diagnosed with ARFID and these patients are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders. The average age for diagnosis of ARFID is 11 or 12, compared with 14 or 15 for other eating disorders. 3.2% of the general population is estimated to have been diagnosed with ARFID.

Ongoing studies are aimed at increasing awareness and use of the diagnosis, which will allow for research into a larger sample of patients. After which, researchers would begin their study on different types of treatments and long term-outcomes.

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Category(s):Eating Disorders

Source material from Scientific American

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