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We Are Not Being Fussy

Developing the campaign

This Eating Disorders Awareness Week is shining a light on ARFID - a health condition that doesn't always get the attention it deserves.


ARFID stands for avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and is a little known and misunderstood condition. ARFID can have serious consequences for health if left untreated.

The number of people affected by ARFID is unknown. Treatment is not available nationwide and people with ARFID, or who suspect they may have it struggle to access the help they need

Find out more about ARFID

Creating the campaign

Once we had decided on our theme, we asked the ARFID community to share their stories through a survey which ran in October 2023. This gave us insight into the experiences of those affected by ARFID and helped shape our campaign messaging.

The campaign was also shared with lived experience volunteers as it developed for feedback and input.

It's not just 'picky eating'. It's a genuine medical condition that needs to be recognised as such. It's not easy for me to try new foods, so please don't pressure me to.

- person with ARFID

To ensure our messaging was informed by the latest evidence, academics from the University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University kindly produced a brief literature review of ARFID research for us. The key themes from the review were:

Download the literature review

We Are Not Being Fussy

We brought all this information together to build a campaign that speaks to the general public using real stories to build on the narrative that #WeAreNotBeingFussy.

Told from the perspective of those with ARFID we build a strong narrative to build an emotional connection.

"In a world bursting with flavours our plates are full of challenges, not choices.

There’s so much we want to tell you about how ARFID affects and impacts our whole lives.

We’re not fussy. We don’t choose to avoid or restrict food. Some of us can’t stomach tastes and textures. Some of us are afraid we might choke.

Other people seem to enjoy the build up to a meal. We can’t think of anything worse.

Food is a battle that extends way past the dining table. It can follow us everywhere, from the supermarket to work or school.

Even after mealtimes, there isn’t any respite because the fight for recognition and access to treatment is a long way from being won.

And then we’re told that this could also seriously damage our health.

Avoiding the thing that’s supposed to keep you alive isn’t something people easily understand. So, we usually hide our struggles to avoid the judgement, stigma and the endless questions and suggestions.

For us, every bite can be a battle.  "


What's Next

Throughout the week, we’ll be highlighting and sharing stories from some of the people we spoke to who’ve have been affected by ARFID. (You can read some of these now.) You can like and share our video and social posts or just generally spread the word that #WeAreNotBeingFussy .

If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear it – share your story.