When a Feeding Disorder Becomes an Eating Disorder: Problems in Pediatrics

 It is not pretty.  Failure to thrive, toddler feeding problems, childhood obesity, eating disorders in children, families eating in a very disconnected fashion, and even very young children having heightened awareness of their body image, weight, and appearance.  The DSM task force has modified the past Feeding and Eating Disorder of Early Childhood category to the Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) to better encompass individuals who usually fall under EDNOS.  The clinician is now faced with the task of assessing for ARFID as well as recognizing when a pediatric feeding disorder turns into an eating disorder.  This presentation will help clinicians meet the challenges of recognizing Food Refusal Syndrome, Food Emotional Disorder, Selective Eating, Pervasive Refusal Syndrome and Restrictive Eating.  These syndromes will be explained including the effects on body weight and growth, mood, weight preoccupation or distortion.  The clinical impact of an eating disorder in children will be reviewed with emphasis on a specialized care team and critical family involvement.  A brief overview will be given as to the effects of the media and culture on children and  what clinicians and families can do to prevent the rise of eating disorders in this vulnerable population.