Eating Disorders Part II.
3 mins read

Eating Disorders Part II.

Student corner: 

Contributed by

Ms Aaliya Masoodi


Pica is an eating disorder that pertains to eating things that are not considered food and that do not provide nutritious importance. 

Individuals with pica crave non-food substances such as ice, dirt, soil, chalk, soap, paper, hair, cloth, wool, pebbles, laundry detergent, or cornstarch. Pica can occur in adults, children, and adolescents.It is most frequently seen in individuals with conditions that affect daily functioning, including intellectual disabilities, developmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, and mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. Individuals with pica may be at an increased risk of poisoning, infections, and nutritional deficiencies. Depending on the substances ingested, pica may be disastrous.

  • Rumination disorder:

Rumination disorder is another newly recognized eating disorder. It describes a situation in which an individual regurgitates food they have once chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out. This rumination typically occurs within the first 30 minutes after a meal. This disorder can develop during infancy, childhood, or adulthood. In infants, it develops between 3 and 12 months of age and often fades away on its own. Children and adults with the condition usually require treatment to resolve it.If not resolved in infants, rumination disorder can result in weight loss and harsh malnutrition that can be deadly. Adults with this disorder may prohibit the amount of food they eat, especially in public. This may lead them to lose weight and become underweight.

  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new name for an old disorder. Individuals with this disorder experience disturbed eating due to either a lack of interest in consuming or a distaste for specific smells, tastes, colors, textures, or temperatures.

Common symptoms of ARFID include: Restriction of food intake prevents the individual from eating sufficient calories or nutrients. Eating habits that interfere with typical social functions, such as eating with others weight loss, or poor development for age and height.  Nutrient deficiencies or dependence on supplements or tube feeding.  It’s important to note that ARFID goes beyond common behaviors such as picky eating in toddlers or lower food intake in older adults. There are Other Eating Disorders that I will be discussing in the next article. 

Stay tuned. 


American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (3rd edn) (DSM–IIII). APA, 1980.

Grilo CM. Eating and Weight Disorders. Psychology Press, 2006.

Walsh BT, Sysko R. Broad categories for the diagnosis of eating disorders (BCD-ED): an alternative system for classification. Int J Eat Disord 2009; 42: 754–64.



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