If you’re a parent, then you’re probably familiar with how kids can be picky when it comes to the food you put in front of them – or perhaps their preferences will change from week to week, which is frustrating and difficult to navigate for caregivers. However, at a certain point, extreme pickiness can actually be a sign of a mental health concern.
Previously known as “Selective Eating Disorder,” it is now in the DSM-5 (the official manual of mental disorders) as Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, which is similar to anorexia but not rooted in body image, says the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Here’s what you should know…
Picky Eating Alone is Not ARFID
As mentioned, there are picky eaters, and then there’s something that’s more concerning than that. Picky eating on its own is not an eating disorder – but it becomes one when a person’s development is affected by aversion to foods.
Medical News Today says the main differences between picky eating and ARFID is that patients in their development stage do not consume enough calories, they stop gaining weight, and stop growing. Adults with the condition may lose weight, and it could “affect normal bodily functions,” it adds.