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Early-onset restrictive eating disturbances in primary school boys and girls

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Kurz Susanne, van Dyck Zoé, Dremmel Daniela, Munsch Simone, Hilbert Anja,
Project Binge Eating Disorder in Childhood
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Page(s) Epub
Title of proceedings European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
DOI 10.1007/s00787-014-0622-z

Open Access


This study sought to determine the distribution of early-onset restrictive eating disturbances characteristic of the new DSM-5 diagnosis, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) in middle childhood, as well as to evaluate the screening instrument, Eating Disturbances in Youth-Questionnaire (EDY-Q). A total of 1,444 8- to 13-year-old children were screened in regular schools (3rd to 6th grade) in Switzerland using the self-report measure EDY-Q, consisting of 12 items based on the DSM-5 criteria for ARFID. 46 children (3.2 %) reported features of ARFID in the self-rating. Group differences were found for body mass index, with underweight children reporting features of ARFID more often than normal and overweight children. The EDY-Q revealed good psychometric properties, including adequate discriminant and convergent validity. Early-onset restrictive eating disturbances are commonly reported in middle childhood. Because of possible negative short- and long-term impact, early detection is essential. Further studies with structured interviews and parent reports are needed to confirm this study's findings.