Children’s Hospital Boston Receives $1 Million from New Balance Foundation for Obesity Research

Boston’s most at-risk children and families will receive critical nutrition care and counseling thanks to a $1 million grant over the next three years from the New Balance Foundation to support Children’s Hospital Boston’s Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program and its cutting-edge childhood obesity research led by David Ludwig, MD, PhD.
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September 15, 2008 – BOSTON, MA -- Boston's most at-risk children and
families will receive critical nutrition care and counseling thanks to a $1
million grant over the next three years from the New Balance Foundation to
support Children's Hospital Boston's Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program
and its cutting-edge childhood obesity research led by David Ludwig, MD,
PhD. As 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.

“We are grateful for the Foundation's generous gift and long-term
commitment to addressing the issue of childhood obesity,” said David
Ludwig, Children's pediatrician, endocrinologist and OWL Program founding
director. “In a time when federal funding is decreasing so dramatically,
support of this magnitude is extraordinary and is a model to other
companies and foundations.”

“The Foundation's major focus is the prevention of childhood obesity and we
seek to fund programs that help overweight children and put them on a path
towards a healthier future,” said Anne Davis, managing trustee, New Balance
Foundation. “Twenty percent of children in Boston are currently overweight
and another 25 percent are at risk. To address this critical need, we are
proud to support the OWL clinic and Dr. Ludwig's world-class research.”

The New Balance Foundation grant will enable the OWL Program to enhance its
services to all patients. Beyond standard visits to the OWL Clinic, there
is also a tremendous need for intensive “wrap-around” services, which
greatly improve a child's weight management success yet are not covered by
insurance. The services include: behavioral/mental health care; case
management; combined child/parent education programs; community resources;
and ongoing nutrition and physical fitness guidance.

Dr. Ludwig not only witnesses the physical and physiological effects of
childhood obesity and overweight, but also its profound psychosocial toll
on children. Ludwig notes, “Obese children tend to be socially isolated,
demonstrate disordered eating, anxiety and depression. They are less likely
than their thinner counterparts to complete college and are more likely to
live in poverty.” OWL staff helps families confront the issues and provide
guidance and support to improve the health of their children.

Approximately 50 percent of OWL program patients are from low-income
backgrounds. There are significant racial, ethnic and socioeconomic
disparities in the prevalence of childhood obesity in Boston. As a result,
a portion of the funds will help families with extraordinary needs, such as
transportation to the clinic/fitness center; food shopping trips; healthy
food vouchers; and fitness scholarships to a local YMCA. New Balance
Foundation funds will help increase these services at the hospital and in
local community health centers.

Additional funds will allow Dr. Ludwig and his team to continue its ongoing
clinical research to advance ideas, best practices, treatment and care of
obese/overweight children. The greatest benefit to this approach is that it
will allow Ludwig to develop new obesity treatments in the lab that can be
translated directly into practice at OWL. OWL patients will be the first
recipients of study findings.

The New Balance Foundation's primary objective is to promote healthy
lifestyles for children and families. Over the last five years, the
Foundation's giving has grown from $1.4 million in 2002, to more than $6.4
million to local communities in 2007. In 2008, more than $7.4 million will
be granted to more than 100 non-profit organizations. The Foundation
recognizes that childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in which the
disease rate has more than tripled over the past 20 years. The largest
grants from the New Balance Foundation are directed towards childhood
obesity research, intervention and prevention.

Children's Hospital Boston: Children's Hospital Boston, an internationally
renowned center for medical research and treatment, is one of the only
pediatric hospitals nationwide that focuses on pairing world-class research
with clinical resources to develop top therapies to treat and cure
children. Many of the hospital's scientific advancements have far-reaching
implications for treating adults, too – they target diseases including
prostate and breast cancer, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer's. For more
information or to support Dr. Ludwig's world-class work, visit
www.childrenshospital.org/owl.

New Balance Foundation: The New Balance Foundation is a charitable
foundation established and funded by Boston-based New Balance Athletic
Shoe, Inc. The Foundation's mission is to support effective charitable
organizations which perform humanitarian services for the betterment of our
children and our local community. For more information, please visit
www.newbalancefoundation.org.

David Ludwig, MD, PhD: For a biography on Dr. Ludwig, please contact Amy
Sweeney.

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