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Update on eating disorders: current perspectives on avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder in children and youth

Authors Norris M, Spettigue W, Katzman D

Received 1 October 2015

Accepted for publication 18 November 2015

Published 19 January 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 213—218

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S82538

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Xiang Mou

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Mark L Norris,1 Wendy J Spettigue,2 Debra K Katzman3

1Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 2Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 3Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract: Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new eating disorder diagnosis that was introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) fifth edition. The fourth edition of the DSM had failed to adequately capture a cohort of children, adolescents, and adults who are unable to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs, for reasons other than drive for thinness, leading to significant medical and/or psychological sequelae. With the introduction of ARFID, researchers are now starting to better understand the presentation, clinical characteristics, and complexities of this disorder. This article outlines the diagnostic criteria for ARFID with specific focus on children and youth. A case example of a patient with ARFID, factors that differentiate ARFID from picky eating, and the estimated prevalence in pediatric populations are discussed, as well as clinical and treatment challenges that impact health care providers providing treatment for patients.

Keywords: avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, ARFID, eating disorder, picky eating, prevalence, treatment

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