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ARFID/SED: Awareness

Originally written by @Hope
Transferred by @emsworld
Hey everyone in this post, I would like to explain Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) previously known as selective eating disorder (SED). This is a serious disorder that is often underlooked. I would like to bring some attention to this in this post.
 
What is ARFID/SED?
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), also previously known as selective eating disorder (SED), is a type of eating disorder where the consumption of certain foods is limited based on the food's appearance, smell, taste, texture, or a past negative experience with the food. It is very different from picky eating. You can read about the difference between ARFID/SED and picky eating here.
Some of the most common examples of ARFID are:
-The person has trouble digesting specific types of food.
-The person only likes to eat very small portions.
-The person might be a very slow eater.
-The person strictly avoids particular types of texture or colors of food.
-The person has no appetite.
-The person is afraid to eat; this may happen as a result of choking or vomiting on food that scared them a lot.
 
What are the symptoms of ARFID/SED?
People dealing with  ARFID have an inability to eat certain foods. "Safe" foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. In some cases, afflicted individuals will exclude whole food groups, such as fruits or vegetables. Sometimes excluded foods can be refused based on color. Some may only like very hot or very cold foods, very crunchy or hard-to-chew foods, or very soft foods, or avoid sauces.
Most people dealing with ARFID will still maintain a healthy or normal body weight. There are no specific outward appearances associated with ARFID. They can experience physical gastrointestinal reactions to adverse foods such as retching, vomiting or gagging. Some studies have identified symptoms of social avoidance due to their eating habits. Most, however, would change their eating habits if they could.
 
What factors may influence ARFID/SED?
After quite some research I was not able to find a specific list of factors that might influence ARFID/SED, so here are some general factors that might influence an eating disorder:
Biological: Scientists are still researching possible biochemical or biological causes of eating disorders. In some individuals with eating disorders, certain chemicals in the brain that control hunger, appetite, and digestion have been found to be unbalanced. The exact meaning and implications of these imbalances remain under investigation. Eating disorders often run in families. Current research indicates that there are significant genetic contributions to eating disorders.
Psychological: Low self-esteem; feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life; depression, anxiety, anger, stress or loneliness.
Social: Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness” or muscularity and place value on obtaining the “perfect body”, narrow definitions of beauty that include only women and men of specific body weights and shapes, cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths, stress related to racial, ethnic, size/weight-related or other forms of discrimination or prejudice.
Interpersonal: Troubled personal relationships; difficulty expressing emotions and feelings; history of being teased or ridiculed based on size or weight; history of physical or sexual abuse.
All of the above factors may not apply in ARFID case but they still give one a general idea.
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