Original Image by Judit Klein via Flickr
Original Image by Judit Klein via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be interning at the Center for Discovery: Eating Disorder Treatment Center in mid November! I recognize that I have an interest in merging nutrition and psychology in my future, which could be done by working with a multidisciplinary team to help those battling eating disorders.  I am looking forward to gain first hand experience of what a treatment house is like and to see the “stages” of treatment.  I recognize I need to brush up on certain terminology and have my empathetic nature at the forefront of my personality!

With that said, today I’m  exploring Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), which is a new diagnosis that has been added to the DSM V. In prior diagnostic manuals, ARFID was known as Selective Eating Disorder (SED). Those with ARFID may be considered picky eaters.

ARFID describes individuals that do not meet the criteria of other more well known eating disorders (i.e. anorexia nervosa, binge eating and/or bulimia nervosa), but still clinically struggles with eating and food.  Someone with ARFID has a certain issue with food that impairs their ability to consume an adequate amount of nutrition.  It is possible for one to develop one of the other said eating disorders as there are some commonalities and overlap in the disorders.   As a result of the problem with eating, an individual may display:

Original Image by Andrea Parrish - Geyer via Flickr
Original Image by Andrea Parrish – Geyer via Flickr
  • Difficulty digesting certain foods
  • Avoiding certain colors or textures of food
  • Eating only very small portions
  • Having no appetite
  • Being afraid to eat after a frightening episode of choking or vomiting

Since a person may not be consuming enough calories through their diet, they may start to lose weight. If still in the growing stages of childhood, one may not necessarily lose weight, but not be up to par with the bell curve of growth. Those with ARFID may have difficulty with work and/or school due to the need to avoid work or school lunches, not getting work done on time due to the time it takes to eat and/or avoiding seeing loved ones at social events where food’s present.

If you or loved one may have ARFID, please call: (410) 938-5252 or email for further assistance.


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