Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
What is ARFID?
When someone restricts the amount of food they eat or avoids certain foods or types of food, this is called avoidant/restrictive food inake disorder, or ARFID. This isn't done to lose weight or because of someone's beliefs about body shape and size, it's usually caused by:
- sensory sensitivity
This means they might be sensitive to the appearance, texture, smell, appearance or taste of food. It also means that they may only want to eat food at a certain temperature.
- the fear of negative consequences
Sometimes, experiences like choking, vomiting or severe abdominal pain can make people worry. When this happens, it sometimes makes them afraid that it could happen again, so they restrict themselves to eating ‘safe’ foods.
- a low interest in eating
Some people have a poor appetite, struggle to recognise when they're hungry or just don't like eating food, which means they might not eat enough.