ChildObesity180, New Balance Foundation, and 100 Mile Club Collaborate on Initiative to Increase Quality Physical Activity for Children –
New Balance Foundation Pledges $2.55 Million Toward New Initiative
(March 3, 2015) BOSTON, MA – ChildObesity180 at Tufts University, The New Balance Foundation, and the 100 Mile Club have announced a new collaboration focused on increasing quality physical activity for children. The New Balance Foundation has pledged $2.55 million in support of this important work.
At the core of the collaboration is a nationwide campaign, the New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race, which will boost physical activity in elementary schools and help lay the foundation for a lifetime of active movement. The New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race invites America’s students to collectively reach 1 billion miles through participation in school-based walking, jogging, and running clubs.
“We are tremendously grateful for the generous support from the New Balance Foundation, and very excited about this collaboration and nationwide initiative,” said Christina D. Economos PhD, vice chair & director of ChildObesity180, New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “The New Balance Foundation and 100 Mile Club have been tremendous sponsors for ChildObesity180 and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them on this new program. The causes of obesity are complex and interconnected; increasing activity levels is one step we can take to help solve this problem. We have high hopes for this initiative.”
“The New Balance Foundation is proud to join with ChildObesity180 and the 100 Mile Club in this new effort to get kids moving in schools across America,” said Anne Davis, vice chairman and executive VP of administration, New Balance. “Supporting charitable programs that work toward the betterment of children is central to our mission, and the prevention of childhood obesity is at the heart of this focus.”
Recent statistics on childhood obesity underscore the importance of initiatives like this one:
- Since 1980, rates of obesity have doubled in 2-to 5-year-olds, quadrupled in 6-to 11-year-olds, and tripled in 12-to 19-year-olds.
- Less than half (just 42 percent) of US children ages 6 to 11 engage in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Obese children are more likely to experience chronic illnesses, miss school days, and be teased by their peers.
Increased levels of physical activity have been shown to boost learning outcomes and build self-esteem in addition to improving children’s overall health. The 100 Mile Club challenges students to run or walk 100 miles at school over the course of a single academic year. Nearly 1,000 schools currently participate in the program, which is accessible to all fitness and ability levels and can be adapted for students with special needs.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with the New Balance Foundation and ChildObesity180 on this important initiative,” said Kara Lubin, founder and chairman of the 100 Mile Club. “Walking or running 100 miles is a fantastic goal, and a nationwide, collective effort for kids to achieve a billion miles takes it to another level; I am excited to be a part of this journey.”
To pre-register for the New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race, visit www.billionmilerace.org. The New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race will launch in Spring 2015.