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Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Do you have a loss of interest in food?

Has it led to troublesome weight loss that's negatively affecting your life?

Are there unappealing aspects about food that make it difficult to eat?

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a relatively new diagnosable eating disorder. According to the DSM-5, it is categorized as...

An eating or feeding disturbance (e.g., apparent lack of interest in eating or food; avoidance based on the sensory characteristics of food; concern about aversive consequences of eating) as manifested by persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs associated with one (or more) of the following:

  • Significant weight loss (or failure to achieve expected weight gain or faltering growth in children).

  • Significant nutritional deficiency.

  • Dependence on enteral feeding or oral nutritional supplements.

  • Marked interference with psychosocial functioning.

  • The disturbance is not better explained by lack of available food or by an associated culturally sanctioned practice.

  • The eating disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and there is no evidence of a disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced.

  • The eating disturbance is not attributable to a concurrent medical condition or not better explained by another mental disorder. When the eating disturbance occurs in the context of another condition or disorder, the severity of the eating disturbance exceeds that routinely associated with the condition or disorder and warrants additional clinical attention.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. DSM-5 Changes: Implications for Child Serious Emotional Disturbance [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2016 Jun. Table 22, DSM-IV to DSM-5 Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder Comparison. Available from:


Who Does it Affect?

As a reminder, eating disorders can affect anyone and loved ones. They are complex and can affect a person differently. However, there are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of the development of an ED. In particular with ARFID, there may be a higher likelihood of developing it if...

  • A person exhibits conditions from the autism spectrum

  • A person (often children) has an extremely picky eating habit that he/she has difficulties evolving

Why is this Important and How Can I get Help?

ARFID can impact an individual where they may experience intense food aversions and/or selectivity around food. This could lead to malnutrition, which can, unfortunately, cause a cascading negative effect on health.


One of our wonderful dietitians, Michelle (they/she), can help provide individualized support in this area. They have taken the time to obtain their certification as an Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) through the International Association of Eating Disorder Association.

In addition, they have worked passionately to learn about the recommended ARFID treatments through Eating Disorders Registered Dietitians & Professionals (EDRD Pro), taking over 18 CEU credits to obtain this level of experience and why we call them an expert in this field.

If these symptoms speak to you or a member of your family, book an appointment with Michelle today.

We offer convenient online booking!

Serving clients online, and locally in O’Fallon, IL

and Webster Groves, MO

Telehealth sessions are available in the following states:


Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut

Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana

Iowa | Kansas | Michigan | Missouri | Nevada  

New Hampshire | Oklahoma | Oregon South Carolina | Texas

Utah | Vermont | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

Eating Disorder Treatment is a multi-disciplinary approach.

We recommend all our clients have a team in place.

A dietitian, therapist, psychiatrist, primary care doctor, pediatrician, etc.

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