University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Eating Disorders


Dr. Laura Witte, Ph.D., PA-C


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an uncommon, but complex, eating disorder characterized by extreme picky eating without poor body image or fear of weight gain. Intake is limited by volume or variety of food, driven by fear of adverse consequences associated with ingestion, sensory sensitivities to food properties, or a lack of interest in eating. Avoidance or restriction of food intake can lead to low body weight or failure to thrive, nutritional deficiencies, reliance on enteral feeding, and can cause psychosocial impairment. The presentation of ARFID varies depending on severity, variety, and volume of diet, therefore, medical evaluation should be comprehensive, tailored to patient needs, and include screening for commonly co-occurring psychiatric conditions. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or family-based therapy (FBT), in conjunction with pharmacotherapy and/or hospital refeeding, have demonstrated therapeutic benefit. Available literature is sparse and largely limited to children and adolescents. Additional studies are needed to evaluate therapeutic interventions, medical follow-up, and prognosis.


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