Feeding Disorders: Psychological Factors

Feeding disorders have a complex course and presentation, reflecting a combination of developmental, physiological, and psychosocial factors. Feeding problems manifest as disruptive mealtime behavior, inability to feed because of persistent distress, selective and neophobic eating, insufficient food intake, and problems with chewing and swallowing. Feeding disorders are diagnosed when inadequate food intake or limited dietary variety lead to growth, nutritional, or psychosocial impairment. Although feeding problems were historically diagnosed and studied in young children, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), includes avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, a diagnosis for individuals of any age whose feeding problems lead to nutritional or psychosocial impairment.

In infancy, feeding problems are characterized by limited intake and difficulty feeding, often as a result of persistent distress and ...

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