Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID): Signs and symptoms

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Learn the main signs and symptoms of ARFID and when ARFID may not be diagnosed.

Key points

  • A child with ARFID will display a range of physical and behavioural warning signs.
  • Behavioural signs include a sudden refusal to eat, a fear of choking and difficulty eating meals with others.
  • Physical signs include delayed growth and, depending on your child's age, weight loss or failure to gain weight.
  • Doctors will not diagnose ARFID if a child's symptoms can be explained by cultural practice or lack of access to food or if a child's weight loss can be explained by a physical condition or other mental health disorder.
Last updated: September 12th 2023