ARFID: Understanding the Diagnosis of this Eating Disorder


Last Updated on: 25th February 2024, 10:58 pm


If you’re reading this, you may have heard of the relatively new diagnosis of ARFID.

ARFID stands for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and was first recognized as a mental health disorder in 2013.

Due to its newness, there are not many healthcare professionals who are well versed or specialized in ARFID.

What Is ARFID?

ARFID is classified as a mental health disorder, and can only be diagnosed by a paediatrician or clinical psychologist.

However, a registered dietitian can support the individual in getting the right diagnosis, developing an individualized treatment plan that meet the patients nutritional requirements.

ARFID is characterized by persistent avoidance or restriction of food intake, without weight and/or body image concerns that are characteristic of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. ARFID results in at least one of the following: substantial weight loss, including failure to gain weight as expected or faltering growth; significant nutritional deficiency; dependence on oral nutritional supplementation or enteral feeding; or marked interference with psychosocial functioning.

ARFID Statistics

To date, it is thought that between 5-14% of children and adolescents with an eating disorder may meet the criteria for ARFID.

ARFID can be early onset or late onset, and interventions for both are quite different. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to ensure better outcomes.

Next Steps

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have ARFID, seek professional help as soon as possible.

A registered dietitian can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses you or your child’s unique needs. Remember, recovery is possible, and you don’t have to face this alone.

I’m confident that I can help you recover from your eating disorder. I offer a safe, supportive, and judgment-free space where you can heal and thrive. 

Contact me today to learn more about how I can help.

About Me

I’m Sarah, a UK registered dietitian and eating disorder specialist. I am passionate about helping individuals and families overcome the challenges of eating disorders, disordered eating, and mental health conditions. My expertise lies in supporting families and individuals with a history of trauma, including domestic abuse, and guiding children and teenagers through the complexities of eating disorders, particularly those stemming from adverse childhood experiences.

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