The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute had a very good year in 2014 despite the ever-increasing funding challenges and administrative demands of doing research. In 2014 we welcomed Dr. Katie Gunnell to the group as a new investigator. Dr. Gunnell’s research focuses on understanding health-related behaviours in various populations as well as quantitative data analysis and research methods – she is a welcome addition to the group. Throughout 2014 the HALO group was maintained at 30-35 scientists, staff, students and visitors – a healthy and manageable size capable of having demonstrable impact on the health and well-being of children in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and internationally.
This year we had success in areas across the diversity of our mandate to provide international leadership and research excellence in healthy active living and obesity in children and youth. With leadership from Active Healthy Kids Canada, we participated in the Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children in Toronto (www.activehealthykids.ca). More than 750 delegates from 32 countries participated. The Global Matrix was released at the Summit as part of the 10th anniversary Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card – the result of a harmonized comparison of physical activity behaviours among 15 countries from around the Globe. This cooperation led to global media coverage and ignited a worldwide dialogue that questioned some of our fundamental beliefs about the important levers for promoting physical activity among children around the world. The first Edition of the complete Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy was released after nearly 7 years of preparatory work (www.capl-ecsfp.ca). The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology position stand: Benefit and risk for promoting childhood physical activity was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism with leadership from HALO. The clinical arm of HALO, the Centre for Healthy Active Living (CHAL), has been busy with its innovative family-based obesity management program and is involved in the newly formed and funded CIHR Team Addressing Bariatric Care in Canadian Children (Team ABC3). The new Physical Activity and Metabolism Lab (formally known as the HALO lab) became fully operational and Dr. Kristi Adamo has orchestrated the necessary training of all HALO staff and students. New research in placental biology, healthy pregnancy, early childhood physical activity and sedentary behaviour, sleep, integrated movement behaviours, the importance of physical activity and physical literacy among children with chronic conditions, active transportation, active outdoor play and healthy active living epidemiology in the pediatric population are but a few areas of current research focus.
Through research, leadership, knowledge translation, partnerships, training and education, and advocacy HALO continues to promote and preserve healthy active lifestyles while managing and treating childhood inactivity and obesity. The prominence of HALO within the new CHEO Research Institute strategic plan remains intact. Please read through this annual report for highlights and details of our accomplishments in 2014 and visit our website (www.haloresearch.ca) to keep abreast of our work and contributions.
This Annual Report provides a catalogue of the activities and accomplishments made by HALO in 2014 and is intended to inform partners, stakeholders, funders, potential students and staff, and other interested parties about our group. It is available in print form upon request and also on our website at www.haloresearch.ca. HALO remains indebted to the donors, contributors, researchers, stakeholders and partners, who fund, facilitate, support and synergize our efforts. To all of you, please accept our most sincere thanks.
Best wishes for a healthy, active 2015.
Mark Tremblay, Ph.D., D.Litt. (hons), FACSM, CSEP-CEP
Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO), CHEO-RI
Professor/Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
Chief Scientific Officer, Active Healthy Kids Canada