Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is the official diagnosis from the DSM-V for people who do not fall into the typical eating disorder categories but still do not receive the nutritional value they need from their diet. ARFID can develop in many different forms. Some people may avoid eating because it gives them digestive problems, some may have an aversion to the texture or appearance of food, there are even cases where people refuse to eat out of fear of choking.
The DSM-V criteria for an ARFID diagnosis includes the following:
- Avoiding food based on its characteristics
- Inability to meet nutritional needs because of this aversion
- The avoidant behavior is not rooted in cultural or societal norms or a food shortage
- There is no evidence to suggest the aversion is related to body image issues
- There are no other medical conditions that could explain the aversion to eating
ARFID is common in children, and it can inhibit their overall growth and development. However, ARFID can impact people of any age, including adults.