Feeding, eating, and emotional disturbances in children with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (Arfid)

Sharon Iron-Segev, Danielle Best, Shani Arad-Rubinstein, Martin Efron, Yaffa Serur, Hadar Dickstein, Daniel Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a relatively new diagnostic category. We sought to determine whether the Stanford Feeding Questionnaire (SFQ), an instrument for assessing picky eating, can differentiate children with ARFID from control children, and whether children with ARFID would show more nonfeeding/eating emotional problems than controls. Fifty children with ARFID were compared to 98 controls. Parents completed the SFQ, Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED), Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Sensory Responsiveness Questionnaire (SRQ). On the SFQ, 12 items represented child ARFID behaviors (SFQ-ARFID Scale), and another 15 items represented parental feeding problems (SFQ-PFP Scale). We found that the SFQ-ARFID and SFQ-PFP Scale scores were significantly higher in children with ARFID vs. controls. Children with ARFID demonstrated higher SDQ-Total-Difficulties, higher SDQ-Internalizing-Difficulties and lower SRQ-Hedonic scores compared with controls. Of all parameters, the SFQ-ARFID Scale best differentiated children with ARFID from control children (area under receiver operating characteristics curve = 0.939, 95% CI, 0.895–0.983, p < 0.001). These findings suggest that parental reports show more eating problems and emotional disturbances in children with ARFID vs. controls, and more parental feeding problems. Further research is required to determine whether the SFQ-ARFID Scale may serve as an effective screening tool for the identification of ARFID.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3385
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • Children
  • Eating
  • Feeding
  • Screening tool


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