Woman With Rare Condition Says She Can Only Eat "Beige" Foods

At 19 years old, she was diagnosed with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder.

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A 22-year-old Ontario woman says her diet consists of only "safe" foods out of fear that eating anything else will cause sickness or death.

According to the Daily Mail, Sara Barnes was diagnosed with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) which likens her diet to that of a toddler because she "can't deal" with certain textures.

Some foods she does allow herself to eat are bread, chicken, and plain yogurt. She says she can't eat rice pudding, red meat, and pizza due to her condition.

"I get so freaked out by how food looks because I can imagine how the texture will feel in my mouth and I immediately know that I can't eat it," Barnes said. "I am so afraid that I will throw up after swallowing something because of the texture."

She's posted about it on her TikTok, although most of the videos on the disorder come from around 2022.

At 19 years old, Barnes was diagnosed with ARFID. The disorder differs from anorexia and bulimia because while those are linked to body image issues, ARFID is more of a physical distaste for certain foods.

As a result, many different types of foods can cause Barnes to vomit, choke, or develop fears of certain foods. What she can stomach, however, are basic carbohydrates like bread, dry cereals, chocolates, and yogurt.

The Daily Mail also posted a video of her attempting to eat a sausage but she couldn't bring herself to do it. "I know I won't but I can't convince my body to stomach it," she wrote.

Barnes is currently seeking help and is on a waiting list for various treatments including cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure to foods that trigger ARFID, and anxiety management.

"I eat for the sake of survival not out of enjoyment like most other people," Barnes said. "I tend to skip breakfast because I never wake up hungry."

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