Pediatric feeding and eating disorders: Current state of diagnosis and treatment

Nichole R. Kelly, Lisa M. Shank, Jennifer L. Bakalar, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now recognizes six primary feeding and eating disorders including pica, rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Guided by research from the past 3 years, the current review outlines diagnostic criteria for each disorder, their clinical correlates and treatment options. Recent modifications to diagnostic criteria will likely help to improve treatment outcomes and prognosis. Nevertheless, several concerns remain regarding the validity of current diagnostic criteria for youth, including the clinical relevance of the size and frequency of binge eating episodes. Additionally, the lack of randomized controlled trials has led to an overreliance on data from quasi-experimental studies, case series and single case studies that impede development of strong clinical recommendations for treating feeding and eating disorders. Recommendations for future research include identifying empirically supported treatments and prevention programs focused on early markers of pediatric feeding and eating concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number446
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake
  • Binge eating
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Child
  • Compensatory behavior
  • Eating disorder
  • Feeding disorder
  • Loss of control eating
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Pica
  • Regurgitation
  • Rumination
  • Weight


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