LYNDHURST, N.J. — The obesity epidemic in America is more serious than non-committal new year resolutions to "lose weight."
According to Lyndhurst's Weight Wellness Center Founder Jennifer Burns Katafigiotis, the issue specifically impacts newer generations.
"One of my professors talked about a stat from the [Center of Disease Control]: Children born after 2000 will be the first to die at a younger age than their parents if the obesity problem is not addressed," Burns Katafigiotis said.
The troubling statistic compelled her to pursue a solution.
Two years ago she opened Weight Wellness Center. The facility isn't a gym or a place to get a workout. The center is meant to inform and promote healthy weight.
"You might be someone who never gets to a healthy body mass index or that size eight you were before you were married, but you can be healthier," Burns Katafigiotis said.
The center is open to all ages and body types. Obesity in adults is a known issue, but the center also assists with individuals who struggle with being underweight and helps teach kids healthy diet habits.
"Anyone that eats can be my client."
According to Burns Katafigios, the center addresses needs that are neglected by insurance plans.
For example, some medical weight loss plans require patients to have an obese body mass index before paying for treatment. This means people who are merely overweight have to pay significantly more in order to receive medical weight loss remedies.
The system seemed counterproductive to Burns Katafigiotis.
"It seemed like getting healthy was becoming a luxury item," she said.
The center launched programs specifically for children on Jan. 2nd, 2017. Burns Katafigios said that many clients expressed learning bad habits when they were kids. She felt addressing issues early on was important to the center's goals.
Weight Wellness Center works with girl scouts and other organizations in Rutherford, North Arlington, Clifton, Secaucus and Woodbridge.
The monthly program at Weight Wellness Center is fine-tuned for each member. The monthly subscription provides an online portal for tracking progress, a private weekly weigh-in, and a private group for members to trade thoughts and other benefits.