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About Us

Our History and Impact

The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) was established in 2007 in response to the escalating obesity crisis and the increasing complexity of related co-morbidities. Today the HALO team consists of 16 staff (including 6 researchers), a childhood obesity clinical team (Centre for Healthy Active Living), 12 graduate students, and many community volunteers.

Some of our practice-changing contributions include:

  • Development of the Kenyan International Development Study – Canadian Activity Needs Research Alliance (KIDS-CAN)
  • Creation of the Centre for Healthy Active Living (CHAL)
  • Development of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy
  • Development of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
  • Development of the first ever Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
  • Co-creation of the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
  • Creation of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network
  • Development of the Active Healthy Kids Canada Position Stand on Active Video Games for Children and Youth
  • Contribution to the development of the Canadian Obesity Network’s (CON) 5 As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain
  • Development of an “Obesity in Preconception and Pregnancy” Resource for maternity care providers
Since its inception in 2007, HALO has received over $8.4 million in research funding; produced more than 342 peer-reviewed publications; has given more than 696 scholarly presentations locally, nationally and internationally; and secured more than 1 billion media impressions!

Click here to download the HALO fact sheet (available in French and English).

Halo’s Vision

HALO will…

Provide international leadership and research excellence as it relates to healthy active living and obesity in children and youth.

Halo’s Mission

HALO will…

Be a multidisciplinary centre of excellence in healthy active living and obesity research for children and youth that will:

  • Advance the understanding and promotion of health and wellness where children live, play, and learn.
  • Develop, evaluate, and mobilize innovative strategies to prevent, manage, and treat obesity and lifestyle-related diseases.

Halo’s Lines of Business


  • Promote and assess healthy active living among children and youth.
  • Identify, examine and address environmental, behavioural, psychosocial, and biological factors related to healthy active living and obesity in children and youth.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to prevent, manage, and treat obesity and lifestyle-related diseases in children and youth.


Be a credible, innovative, and authoritative source for child-focused healthy active living and obesity research, information and planning.

Training and Education

Be an internationally recognized centre for trainees, researchers and professionals interested in healthy active living and obesity research, leadership and advocacy for children and youth.

Knowledge Translation

Show leadership and innovation in translating, disseminating, and mobilizing child-focused health active living and obesity research.


Use municipal, provincial, national, and international partnerships to create, promote, and evaluate healthy active living initiatives for children and youth.


Serve as a professional, informed, and authoritative voice to promote healthy active living and prevent obesity in children and youth.

Good Governance

Be effective, efficient, and transparent in all aspects of our work.