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Pediatric Feeding and Eating Disorders: Current State of Diagnosis and Treatment


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now recognizes six primary feeding and eating disorders including pica, rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Guided by research from the past 3 years, the current review outlines diagnostic criteria for each disorder, their clinical correlates and treatment options. Recent modifications to diagnostic criteria will likely help to improve treatment outcomes and prognosis. Nevertheless, several concerns remain regarding the validity of current diagnostic criteria for youth, including the clinical relevance of the size and frequency of binge eating episodes. Additionally, the lack of randomized controlled trials has led to an overreliance on data from quasi-experimental studies, case series and single case studies that impede development of strong clinical recommendations for treating feeding and eating disorders. Recommendations for future research include identifying empirically supported treatments and prevention programs focused on early markers of pediatric feeding and eating concerns.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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The opinions and assertions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not to be construed as reflecting the views of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Nichole R. Kelly, Lisa M. Shank, Jennifer L. Bakalar and Marian Tanofsky-Kraff declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Marian Tanofsky-Kraff.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Eating Disorders

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Kelly, N.R., Shank, L.M., Bakalar, J.L. et al. Pediatric Feeding and Eating Disorders: Current State of Diagnosis and Treatment. Curr Psychiatry Rep 16, 446 (2014).

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  • Pediatric
  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • Eating disorder
  • Feeding disorder
  • Binge eating
  • Loss of control eating
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Pica
  • Rumination
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake
  • Compensatory behavior
  • Regurgitation
  • Weight
  • Overweight
  • Obesity