New Balance Donates $1M to Fight Childhood Obesity

NEW YORK — The New Balance Foundation has pledged $1 million to the Children’s Hospital Boston’s Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program.

The grant, announced yesterday, will be dispersed over the course of three years and will help the OWL program and clinic treat more than 750 patients annually.

“We are grateful for the foundation’s generous gift and long-term commitment to addressing the issue of childhood obesity,” OWL’s founding director David Ludwig said in a statement. “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 OWL program plans to use the funds to boosts its multidisciplinary services, which include behavioral and mental health care, case management, family education, community resources and nutritional and physical fitness guidance.

“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,” said Anne Davis, managing trustee for the New Balance Foundation, which aims to donate more than $7.4 million to nonprofit organizations in 2008.

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