Vernon-According to a study conducted in 2000 by the Center for Disease Control, nearly two thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, with figures showing a definite rise in childhood obesity. Obesity contributes to a number of chronic medical conditions including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, various types of cancer and osteoarthritis. Until recently Sussex County residents who wanted to attend nutrition counseling for weight related problems had to travel far distances, sometimes outside the county. With the recent opening of The Vernon Nutrition Center on Rt. 515 in Vernon residents will be able to receive care close to home. The Vernon Nutrition Center is owned and operated by Erin Palinski, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer who completed her undergraduate training at Virginia Tech, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. She then went on to complete the Supervised Practice in Dietetics through the College of Saint Elizabeth, where she was nominated as Outstanding Dietetic Intern of New Jersey. Recently she has become one of only a handful of dietitians in the country to become a Certified Specialist in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management. "For the most part the people who come to me want to reduce their weight and get off medication. In many cases they will have been referred by a doctor or by a friend or family member that has been successful in their weight management," said Palinski. "Today more and more people lead sedentary lifestyles; they eat out more where portion sizes tend to be huge, so for those already diagnosed with a nutrition-related condition, I teach them how to better control their disease, decreasing their risk for future complication while decreasing their need for medication," she added. The Vernon Nutrition Center will be providing nutritional counseling in the areas of diabetes management, cardiovascular disease management, adult obesity, pediatric obesity and intestinal diseases and disorders. The Center also offers structured nutrition programs for maximum weight loss results in both adult and pediatric population. "Nutrition counseling can be beneficial for almost everyone, those with a family history of heart disease, diabetes and cancer can learn to improve their eating habits to prevent the incidence of these diseases in the future," added Palinski. The Vernon Nutrition Center is located at 529 Rt. 515 in Vernon. For more information, call 973-764-1600 or visit vernonnutritioncenter.com.