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The New Balance Foundation Joins the White House in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

February 9th 2010

Boston, MA -

The New Balance Foundation announced today that they are joining The First Lady, Michelle Obama in her efforts to end childhood obesity.

"We are proud to join forces with the First Lady and the White House on our shared commitment to getting more kids active and embracing healthier lifestyles," says Anne Davis, managing trustee of the New Balance Foundation. "As a corporate foundation we have stood behind the prevention of childhood obesity for the last decade and we recognize that a strong collaborative effort between government, non-profit and private sectors can truly make a difference in addressing this serious epidemic. We look forward to working closely with The First Lady to achieve her national goal of solving the childhood obesity challenge within a generation."

The New Balance Foundation's primary objective is to promote healthy lifestyles for children and families with the majority of its grant funding focused on the prevention of childhood obesity. The Foundation recognizes that childhood obesity is a growing epidemic with the percentage of children who are obese doubling and the percentage of obese adults tripling in the past 30 years. Today, nearly one third of all children in America are obese or overweight. The New Balance Foundation seeks to address this epidemic using a holistic approach that involves children and those who impact children – including caregivers, educators, medical professionals, after-school providers and the community as a whole.

"The First Lady is committed to ending childhood obesity over the next 18 years and we are equally committed to working with her team to increase support for existing programs and collaborate to develop new and creative ideas that achieve her goal," says Davis.

In 2009, The New Balance Foundation granted more than $6 million to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Among the notable grant recipients are:

Children's Hospital Boston's Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program – The OWL Program and its cutting-edge childhood obesity research led by David Ludwig, MD, PhD, is one of the largest pediatric obesity programs in the U.S. The OWL Program is a multi-disciplinary care clinic that evaluates and treats more than 750 at-risk children annually. 2010 will be the third year of a three-year $1 million dollar grant.

The New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center – In July 2009, The New England Aquarium opened its doors to The New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, its newest signature exhibit. The exhibit's programming showcased the health and activity of marine mammals to promote fitness for children in a unique and innovative way. A long-term supporter of the New England Aquarium, the Foundation provided a $3 million gift to fund the exhibit.

Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy – Through a ten-year pledge made in 2004, the New Balance Foundation supports the school's "Children in Balance" initiative that combats childhood obesity and works to improve the long-term health of future generations. This grant funds leadership positions in the areas of research, scholarship, advocacy, training, program-testing and evaluation, and information dissemination.

Girls On The Run – The New Balance Foundation has helped strengthen and grow this national non-profit organization that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. In 2010, The Foundation will offer Capacity Building Grants that allow local councils the opportunity to further develop and expand, resulting in new sites and programs at the council level. Scholarship Grants will provide funding for participant scholarships, costs associated with expanding councils to low income areas and program expenses.

About the New Balance Foundation

For 28 years the New Balance Foundation has served a deeply held mission: to support charitable organizations whose humanitarian efforts work for the betterment of our children and communities. The heart of our focus is the prevention of childhood obesity. For more information, please visit www.newbalancefoundation.org.