Sittingbourne parent raising awareness of ARFID

We all have certain foods we don’t like, but ARFID, which stands for Avoidance Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is a serious condition that is still relatively unknown.


Children with ARFID are extremely selective eaters and sometimes have little or no interest in eating food which can lead to poor growth and poor nutrition. Some people may dismiss it as being a picky eater or just not liking the food, but ARFID can result in starving yourself to the point of near death so it should be taken seriously.


One local resident, Catherine Noble, set up a fundraiser to raise awareness of the eating disorder, explaining that her daughter Daisy, nearly 16, had been suffering from ARFID for the last 18 months and even though Daisy has battled through ARFID, it continues to be a daily battle to eat a balanced diet.


Catherine explained that Daisy didn’t eat solid foods for 10 months and was put on Ensure Shakes to help with the malnutrition and lack of food intake. One of the problems that Catherine and her daughter Daisy also faced was the fact that ARFID is still relatively new and unknown and many health professionals haven’t even heard about it.


Speaking to us at CommunityAd Catherine told us: “ARFID is generally down to texture, taste, smell and touch and it can also be a complete fear of food and choking too; it’s very sensory and a lot of kids who have ARFID are more likely to have autism or ADHD for example.

“We were assessed twice by the eating disorder clinic and generally they only deal with anorexia or bulimia, they just don’t have the facilities to deal with ARFID. We also had our referral refused from a couple of places in London, saying we didn’t meet the criteria.

“We had to deal with it mainly internally. Daisy was in Medway and they gave her a feeding tube and then she started eating, she had the tube for five days and she’s pretty much made herself better.”


Catherine and Daisy set up a GoFundMe page, not only to raise money for ARFID Awareness UK, but to start a wider conversation about ARFID and spread awareness of the eating disorder itself.


“The more people that are aware of it, the more people are going to talk about it and the more people are going to be honest, it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” explained Catherine. “The biggest thing I would say is sometimes the parent is the child’s biggest and only advocate, and you have to keep making noise because so many parents don’t make any. We’ve had to make a lot of noise to finally get where we are.

“Daisy has worked really hard to get where she is today, and that’s all down to her. She’s very strong willed. I think she would say you just have to listen to the kids and you have to trust their judgement sometimes.”


For anyone who would like to find out more, BEAT provide a lot of informative information on ARFID, and you can visit ARFID Awareness UK to find out more. Visit the GoFundMe page to show your support.

Exclusives by Area