There's a relatively new eating disorder classification in the DSM-5 (the diagnosis manual for mental health) called ARFID: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder in Children and Adolescents.
ARFID is different from other more well known eating disorders (EDs) like anorexia nervosa because it doesn't have to do with distorted body image or a desire to lose weight. In addition, most people diagnosed with the disorder are children and adolescents.
Symptoms seem to be caused by something that happened in early life-a choking or vomiting event, an unhealthy relationship with a caretaker, or psychosocial problems such as depression or anxiety.
A higher percentage of ARFID occurs in boys than other eating disorders, but still, most of the children diagnosed (70%) are girls.
According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, studies have shown that the prevalence of ARFID in tertiary child and adolescent ED programs has ranged from 5% to 14% and as high as 22.5%
The few studies that looked at patient populations drawn from ED clinical samples have consistently found that these patients are younger than those with other EDs, more likely to be male compared with adolescents with anorexia nervosa, and have a high rate of co-occurring psychiatric and/or medical symptoms.
At Doorways we are diligent in keeping updated in the latest diagnoses, trends and treatments so that we may better serve our patients.
If you would like one of our providers to speak to your organization about topics such as ARFID, please let us know. We are happy to help.