Key Characteristics

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a complex, but treatable, mental health condition. It is relatively new diagnostic category and it characterised by

  • An eating or feeding disturbance. This can look like an apparent lack of interest in eating or food, avoidance based on the sensory characteristics of food or concern about aversive consequences of eating like choking or vomiting
  • Which leads to a persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs. This can result in weight loss, nutritional deficiency or a dependence on nutritional supplements
  • There is no evidence of body image disturbance
  • The eating disturbance is not attributable to a lack of food, cultural practice, physical illness or other mental health condition


Support & Recovery

 It is important to know that recovery from ARFID is always possible, no matter how long someone has been unwell. 

The prognosis of ARFID is greatly improved, however, with early and immediate access to treatment. Therefore, it is very important that you reach out for help and support as soon soon as you can. The first step to getting professional help is to make an appointment with your GP. 

The Eating Disorders Association (N.I.) can talk this through with you if you are feel nervous about approaching someone. We offer a wide range of information materials and support services to help you or your loved one in recovery. Please see our leaflet ‘About Eating Disorders’ for more information and contact us today in confidence for support.


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