Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder—ARFID, for short—is an eating disorder characterized by a limited quantity and variety of food intake. A person suffering from ARFID may have an extreme lack of interest in eating, or they may feel a heightened sensitivity and aversion to the taste, smell, texture, or color of food. They may also fear becoming sick, choking, or vomiting if they eat.
Many children and some adults go through phases of being picky eaters. However, people with ARFID do not consume enough calories to meet the basic nutritional needs of their bodies. For kids, this can result in delayed or stunted growth. Adults with ARFID may experience dramatic weight loss.
Similar to anorexia nervosa
, ARFID involves limitations in the quantity or types of food consumed. Where it differs from anorexia is in the absence of any emotional distress or obsession with body size, shape, or weight.