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6551-Malone University and Aultman Hospital partner with Louisville Schools to combat childhood-adolescent obesity

6551-March 8, 2013

The Malone University School of Nursing and Health Sciences, along with the Departments of Exercise Science and Community Health Promotion are uniting with Aultman Hospital and the Louisville School District to launch the Aultman Ambassador Program, an intervention initiative to combat childhood / adolescent obesity.

Akbar Shah, M.D., cardiologist at Aultman Hospital will lead the team of healthcare professionals as they follow and encourage volunteer students beginning this fall entering their freshman year of high school – through graduation in 2017. The pilot program actually launches March 16, an introduction of the program at Louisville's annual St. Patrick's Day 5K.

According to Debra Lee, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, "By working closely with students during these important years, we hope to help them develop positive eating and exercise habits that will serve them well throughout their long, healthy lives."

Lora Wyss, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, adds, "I feel that the partnership between Aultman Hospital, Louisville High School, and Malone University is a great opportunity to share community resources and to positively impact healthy life style choices."

Students participating will first be invited to have their Body Mass Index (BMI) measured and answer a few questions about their typical physical activity and nutrition habits.

The goals of the ambassadors are three-fold:

  1. To teach the students about the life long importance of a healthy diet and exercise
  2. To promote healthy changes within Louisville High School
  3. To cheer each child on to good health!

In the next few years, healthy eating and exercise will be promoted among participating students and families based upon the following information from the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Nutrition and the Health of Young People
  • Benefits of Healthy Eating - Proper nutrition promotes the optimal growth and development of children , helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, and dental caries (cavities).
  • Consequences of a Poor Diet - A poor diet can lead to energy imbalance and can increase one's risk for overweight and obesity, as well as increasing the risk for lung, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
  • Eating Behaviors of Young People: Most U.S. youth DO NOT meet the recommendations for eating: 2½ cups to 6½ cups* of fruits and vegetables each daywhole grains (2–3 ounces* each day); While most U.S. youth DO: eat more than the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium (1,500–2,300 mg* each day) as well as empty calories from added sugars and solid fats and drink more full-calorie soda per day than milk.
  • Benefits of Regular Physical Activity: Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles, reduces the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, reduces feelings of depression and anxiety promoting psychological well-being, and may help improve students' academic performance.
  • Long-Term Consequences of Physical Inactivity: Overweight and obesity, which are influenced by physical inactivity and poor diet, can increase one's risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and premature death.

Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2015 


Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
Malone University
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
Phone: 330-471-8239
Cell: 330-324-2424

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