Special to the South Florida Times

MIAMI — A local gym and health officials are teaming up to get children and their parents moving in hopes of combating a health threat among the younger population in this country.

September, National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month recognizes the serious threat obesity poses to the health of America’s children and decreasing its prevalence in the United States.

PowerFit Studios and JEMKIDS are encouraging young people to make a commitment to their health and wipe out America’s obesity epidemic. They will host a family inspired fitness event on 9 a.m. Saturday, inside the Opera Tower at Power Fit Studios, 1750 N Bayshore Dr., Miami, FL.

“The growing rate of childhood obesity in our country is alarming,” said Shirlee Fernandez, founder and owner of PowerFit Studios. “Childhood obesity is entirely preventable. We are here to provide ways that encourage healthy eating and fitness habits.”


One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Officials note that childhood obesity can be prevented, and suggest


that communities, health professionals, and families work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and move more.

JEMKIDS will conduct their weekly fitness class for kids ages 6-13 from 9 to 10 a.m.  Fernandez said the classes develop overall strength, improve posture, movement and coordination while enhancing balance as well as other motor skills. She added that different games and challenges are employed to teach children these skills in a way that is fun and engaging.

Parents will have the opportunity to get a fitness assessment by PowerFit Studio’s trainer John and Vivian Rice and hear a talk by Fernandez. Complimentary glucose and blood pressure checks also will be provided.

JEMKIDS founder Jonerik Murphy said that being a physically fit child isn’t about being a great athlete, it is about being a healthy person.

“If a child has poor posture, it will affect everything from self-esteem to performance in school to long term health issues,” he said.  “Therefore, children should be physically active early on to create strong, healthy bodies.”