Understanding Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is a relatively new type of eating disorder in which people eat only within a narrow repertoire of foods. This causes an individual to eat by quantity and or variety. The avoidance may be based on a sensitivity to taste, texture, smell, appearance or temperature. Unlike other eating disorders, it does not typically involve distress around body image or a pursuit of thinness.

ABBI Clinic specialises in providing expert day care for adults with ARFID.

Lady sitting in the kitchen

Signs and symptoms of ARFID

  • A tendency to be extremely picky about what you eat
  • The anxiety associated with ‘fear’ foods
  • Weight loss
  • A particular food might be avoided because of its texture, colour, taste, smell, or food group.
  • Vomiting or gagging after exposure to certain foods
  • Having trouble chewing your food
  • An absence of appetite
  • Digestion problems with certain foods
  • Consuming very small amounts of food
Our Approach

A personalised approach to ARFID treatment

Our comprehensive treatment process for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) begins with a thorough assessment and diagnosis. We then create individualised treatment plans tailored to each client’s unique needs.

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Have questions?

If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder or you’re worried that you might be, please get in touch with us today.

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Frequently asked questions

Yes, eating disorders are relatively common, affecting individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of eating disorders has increased and it is estimated that there are approximately 1.25 million people living with an eating disorder in the UK. Around 25% of those are male.

Treatment programmes often accommodate special diets or intolerances, and nutritional counselling can address individual dietary needs.

Eating disorders are mental health conditions characterised by abnormal eating patterns, thoughts, and behaviours that often have serious physical and emotional consequences. This can include eating excessively or not eating enough. It can lead to preoccupation with food and dietary patterns. They can also include other compensatory behaviours such as self-induced vomiting or misuse/overuse of medication. They can have a serious impact on all aspects of an individual’s life.

Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

There are many different types of eating disorders. The commonest are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Other less common eating disorders include Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), Orthorexia, PICA, Rumination Disorder.

Causes of eating disorders are multifactorial, including genetic predisposition (family history of eating disorder or other mental health condition), psychological factors (depression, anxiety, fear of being overweight, being a perfectionist), societal pressures (social media, having a job or hobby where size matters), and individual experiences (abuse, bullying, personal criticism about diet/eating, family tension).

People may develop eating disorders due to a combination of genetic, psychological, sociocultural, and environmental factors.

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