Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 421–431 | Cite as

Beyond Picky Eating: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

  • Richard E. KreipeEmail author
  • Angela Palomaki
Eating Disorders (E Attia, Section Editor)


Disorders related to ingesting adequate variety and amounts of food, often dichotomized into feeding or eating disorders, depending on the need for affected individuals to be fed or to eat on their own respectively, include a wide variety of conditions. This paper focuses on disorders that are not also associated with behaviors related to weight-control or self-concept strongly influenced by body weight or shape, as seen in anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. In contrast to eating disorders, there is a relatively sparse body of literature, inconsistent and confusing set of terms and definitions, and conflicting classification schemes applied to feeding/eating disturbances. A new scheme is proposed to improve clinical utility and include individuals who experience morbidities that could benefit from diagnosis and treatment, but are presently excluded from classification. Key research findings are highlighted, and core clinical features regarding diagnosis and treatment are detailed. Two illustrative cases frame the clinical aspects of these conditions.


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder Picky eating Feeding disorder Infantile anorexia Selective eating Food avoidance emotional disorder Functional dysphagia Food aversion Food refusal Neophobia Food phobia Perseverant eating Sensory food aversion DSM-5 Classification 



Angela Palomaki is a Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Nutrition Fellow.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Golisano Children’s HospitalUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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