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A feeding disorder in infancy or early childhood is the failure to eat enough food to grow normally during a period of one month or more, or a loss of weight over one month. Feeding disorder ressembles failure to thrive, except that there is no medical or physiological condition that can explain the very small amount of food the children consume or their lack of growth.[1]

These disorders include a wide array of conditions ranging from problem behaviors during feeding such as poor appetite, food refusal, food selectivity, food avoidance, and pica to rumination and vomiting. Such disorder appears most often during the first year of lif e and before the age of six.[2] Feeding disorder during infancy or early childhood is the failure of an infant or child below six years of age to eat enough food to gain weight and grow normally over a period of one month or more. Such disorders result in loss of a significant amount of weight and usually none of the prevalent medical or physiological condition can explain the low food intake or lack of growth.[1]


Feeding disorder has been divided into six further sub-types:[3]

  1. Feeding disorder of state regulation
  2. Feeding disorder of reciprocity (neglect)
  3. Infantile anorexia
  4. Sensory food aversion
  5. Feeding disorder associated with concurrent medical condition
  6. Post-traumatic feeding disorder


Some 25% to 40% of infants and children are reported by their caregivers to have feeding problems, mainly colic, vomiting, slow feeding, and refusal to eat.[4] It has been reported that up to 80% of infants with developmental handicaps also demonstrate feeding problems while 1 to 2% of infants aged less than one year show severe food refusal and poor growth.[2] Among infants born prematurely, 40% to 70% experience some form of feeding problem.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Feeding disorder of infancy or early childhood. Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. Advameg, Inc.. URL accessed on 26 February 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kay, Jerald (2006). Essentials of Psychiatry, 1078, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  3. Sexson, Sandra B. (2005). Child and adolescent psychiatry, 399, Wiley-Blackwell.
  4. Bernard-Bonnin, AC (2006). Feeding problems of infants and toddlers. Canadian Family Physician 52 (10).
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This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

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