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Feeding Disorders: Gender and Sex Differences

Sex is defined as one’s biological sex, whereas gender refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that a culture associates with one’s sex. This entry discusses research findings regarding primarily sex differences in feeding disorders. When broadly defined, feeding problems are identified if an individual presents with insufficient food intake that adversely affects health or psychosocial functioning. Although historically, feeding problems were diagnosed and studied only in young children, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), replaced the DSM-IV diagnosis of feeding disorder of infancy or early childhood with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, which can be diagnosed at any age when the feeding disturbance leads to weight loss or growth failure, nutritional deficiency, or significant psychosocial impairment.

The heterogeneous and complex nature ...

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