Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID): Overview

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

​Learn about the possible causes of ARFID and how it differs from picky eating.

Key points

  • ​A child who has ARFID eats very little food or avoids certain foods for a range of reasons, for example because of concerns about food texture or not feeling well when eating.
  • ​​Some people with ARFID have anxiety disorders that appear as a fear of vomiting or choking.
  • ​​ARFID is not the same as picky eating. It involves having a poor appetite overall,​ rather than a rejection of a few foods, and needs medical attention and psychological care.​ ARFID usually develops in childhood but can occur in people of all ages.
Last updated: September 12th 2023