Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: a new eating disorder diagnosis in the diagnostic and statistical manual 5

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new eating disorder diagnosis in the 5th edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-5), published in 2013. The purpose of this review is to describe the creation of ARFID as a diagnostic category, and to explain the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria; to demonstrate what is known thus far about the prevalence of ARFID and characteristics of patients with this disorder; to provide guidance to the pediatrician and other providers on making a diagnosis of ARFID; and to discuss evolving treatment approaches.

Recent findings

Several studies have been published recently on the prevalence and characteristics of patients with ARFID. Research has just begun to focus on new assessment measures, approaches to treatment based on established therapies for other eating/psychiatric disorders, and short-term outcomes. Robust treatment studies are in development.

Summary

The addition of ARFID to the DSM-5 has captured a category of patients with clinically significant restrictive eating, but without weight and shape concerns, who were poorly classified in the past. Future research is needed to further elucidate the presentation, characteristics, diagnostic instruments, and effective management.

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