Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is characterized by eating or feeding disturbance (e.g., apparent lack of interest in eating or food, avoidance based on the sensory characteristics of food, concern about aversive consequences of eating) as manifested by persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs associated with one (or more) of the following:
- Significant weight loss (or failure to achieve expected weight gain or faltering growth in children).
- Significant nutritional deficiency.
- Dependence on enteral feeding or oral nutritional supplements.
- Marked interference with psychosocial functioning.
The eating disturbance is not better explained by lack of available food or by an associated culturally sanctioned practice and does not occur exclusively during the course of anorexianervosa or bulimianervosa. There is no evidence of a disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced. The eating disturbance is not attributable to a concurrent medical condition or not better explained by another mental disorder. When the eating disturbance occurs in the context of another condition or disorder, the severity of the eating disturbance exceeds that routinely associated with the condition or disorder and calls for additional clinical attention.
Patients with ARFID can experience medical complications similar to AN.