Rachel Matthews

Newbridge House clinical manager Rachel Matthews has been interviewed by BBC Radio about selective eating disorder.

Known medically as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Rachel explains how to recognise this disorder and how it is treated.

The interview for BBC WM morning show was broadcast on Tuesday, January 12. Newbridge House regularly works with the BBC and other media to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorder.

Rachel was interviewed to provide specialist advice together with an interview with an adult who has ARFID.

She describes how to recognise the difference between fussy and selective eating, which is a common behaviour in childhood, and selective eating disorder.

“It becomes an eating disorder when it affects functioning, for example, the ability to go out and have a meal, or results in weight loss or deficient nutrition. Once it affects functioning in this way, it is important to seek help and treatment.

“The first place you should go is to see your GP who will help you to access the right service.”

Rachel explains that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most commonly used treatment for ARFID.

“CBT looks at how your thoughts affect your feelings and how your feelings affect your actions, considering how the disorder started and how to go about changing things by gradually introducing foods that you can cope with.”

This treatment usually involves seeing a psychologist for weekly sessions. “How long it takes depends on how the person responds to treatment and how motivated they are to achieve change,” explains Rachel.