In addition to the main eating disorders, binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, other illnesses are classified as a Feeding and Eating Disorder. ARFID is one such illness. ARFID is characterised by the person restricting their food intake by eating smaller amounts or eliminating certain groups to the extent whereby they do not meet their nutritional needs. ARFID differs to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia in that someone affected by ARFID may not necessarily experience the extreme level of body image disturbance that someone with anorexia or bulimia may experience. ARFID does not appear to affect the person’s perception and beliefs about their weight and shape and they will not experience the same fear of weight gain similar to someone experiencing anorexia for example. Someone experiencing ARFID will also be less likely to present with other eating disorder behaviours such as over exercise or purging.
As ARFID is still a relatively new diagnostic category much research is yet to be carried out to further understanding of the development and course of this illness.
Please note that Eating Disorders Association (N.I.) main areas of expertise are specific to bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa and OSFED.
Please see our leaflet ‘About Eating Disorders’ for more information.
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