What's ARFID, and why do they capitalize the name for an eating disorder?
ARFID is an acronym which stands for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.
It is included in the DSM-V.
Diagnostic criteria for ARFID, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), include:
- The individual demonstrates a disturbed eating experience that is associated with one or more of the following:
- Nutritional deficiency as a result of inadequate intake of food
- Weight loss (adults) or failure to gain weight (children)
- Decline in psychosocial function
- Dependence on supplements to maintain nutritional health
- The disturbed eating is not due to an explainable external factor, such as food being unavailable or in short supply.
- The person does not have a distorted body image.
- The feeding disturbance or food restriction is not a result of some other physical or mental illness. For example, a person who loses weight because of the flu or food poisoning does not have an eating disorder, so a diagnosis of ARFID would not be relevant.
Unlike cases of anorexia and bulimia, ARFID does not typically involve poor body image, a drive to be thin or a displeasure with external appearance. However, inadequate nutrition and caloric intake, especially among children, can seriously delay growth or prevent normal weight gain.
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