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New Jersey Officials Honor Lyndhurst Woman's Fight Against Obesity

Assemblyman Gary Schaer presents Weight Wellness Center Owner Jennifer Burns Katafigiotis with a proclamation from the State of New Jersey honoring her efforts. The proclamation was co-sponsored by Schaer and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride.
Assemblyman Gary Schaer presents Weight Wellness Center Owner Jennifer Burns Katafigiotis with a proclamation from the State of New Jersey honoring her efforts. The proclamation was co-sponsored by Schaer and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn
Burns Katafigiotis shows Schaer the Weight Wellness Center's straw garden and how it can be utilized in small spaces to grow organic and healthy food.
Burns Katafigiotis shows Schaer the Weight Wellness Center's straw garden and how it can be utilized in small spaces to grow organic and healthy food. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn
The straw garden is unused during this time of the year, but Burns Katafigiotis and Schaer both noted that straw gardens allow individuals to grow food without needing a large backyard.
The straw garden is unused during this time of the year, but Burns Katafigiotis and Schaer both noted that straw gardens allow individuals to grow food without needing a large backyard. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn
Burns Katafigiotis with the proclamation from the New Jersey Assembly.
Burns Katafigiotis with the proclamation from the New Jersey Assembly. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn

LYNDHURST, N.J. — After reading this article in Daily Voice, New Jersey officials on Thursday honored one Lyndhurst woman's efforts to promote weight loss and all-around better health.

Jennifer Burns Katafigiois started her Weight Wellness Center to combat obesity after hearing that new generations could die at a younger age than their parents due to the epidemic.

After two years of service, her center was honored by Assemblyman Gary Schaer and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride. The lawmakers co-sponsored a resolution recognizing Burns Katafigiotis.

"We’re excited to be here and I’m so glad [our office] saw the article and said ‘Wow this is something we should acknowledge as well,''" Schaer said.

RELATED: Lyndhurst Wellness Center: Kids Will Die At Younger Age Than Parents

As a resident in Rutherford who works in Lyndhurst, Burns Katafigiotis has worked with Rutherford and Lyndhurst's wellness efforts as well as Former First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign.

She's a credentialed nutritionist, but said the proclamation helps legitimize the work she's doing.

"It makes them look at me another way: ‘Ok she really does know what she’s talking about,’" Burns Katafigiotis said.

Weight Wellness Center is not a fitness gym, but rather a location where people of all ages and body types can learn how to live a healthier lifestyle.

The center seeks to address health issues before they cause major complications. This is in contrast to many health plans that won't cover the cost of treatment until the individual already has an "obese" body mass index.

"It seemed like getting healthy was becoming a luxury item," Burns Katafigiotis told Daily Voice earlier in January.

The center offers programs on cooking healthy meals, how to maintain a straw garden, a children-focused course for healthy habits and much more.

"Everything about this place is just so wonderful and creative," Schaer said.

She plans to expand her operation to Westwood, allowing Northern Bergen County to access her services more easily.

The Weight Wellness Center is located at 550 Valley Brook Ave., in Lyndhurst.

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