Master Builder

Summer 2022

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E ating disorders are not uncommon, though their exact cause is not fully understood. Research suggests a combination of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors can raise a person's risk. An estimated 20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S. will have an eating disorder during their lifetime, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Pandemic Increases Factors for Illness The isolation caused by physical distancing and quarantine has interfered with emotional and social development in youth, fueling an increase in disordered eating. Social media platforms can be a way to safely connect with others during times of physical distancing, but such platforms can also encourage low self-esteem, negative body image, and cyber-bulling. Eating Disorders Can Affect Anyone Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, body weights, and genders. Although eating disorders often appear during teen years or young adulthood, they may also develop during childhood or later in life. Eating disorders can affect a person's physical and mental health and, in some cases, be life-threatening. With treatment, people can recover. Signs of an Eating Disorder The best chance for recovery is early detection and treatment. Someone struggling with an eating disorder doesn't always fit into a neat checklist. Some potential warning signs include: • Concern with body size and shape • Extreme mood swings • Withdrawal from friends and activities • Discomfort eating around others • Food rituals like excessive chewing • Obsessive-compulsive tendencies • Noticeable fluctuations in weight, both up and down • Digestion complaints Where to Find Help If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of an eating disorder, the NEDA online Eating Disorders on the Rise During COVID-19 BY REGENCE BLUESHIELD Learn more about the benefits provided with Regence BlueShield and Capital Benefit Services at or 425.641.8093 Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before beginning or ending medical treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition. screening tool can help determine if it's time to seek professional help. NEDA's helpline can also help you or your loved one find help, Monday through Friday via online chat, calls, or text. Behavioral Health Resources for Regence BlueShield Members Whether you need occasional emotional support or ongoing mental health care, Regence BlueShield has a variety of programs to prevent, identify, and treat mental health and substance use disorders. Regence BlueShield members who want to understand what is available under their health plan can sign in to their account on, or call for help finding the right behavioral health resources. Eating disorders can affect a person's physical and mental health and, in some cases, be life-threatening. With treatment, people can recover. During the COVID-19 pandemic, eating disorders have risen to alarming levels— especially among youth. 58 master BUILDER | SUMMER 2022 MEMBERSHIP VALUE

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