The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO-RI) had another successful and productive year in 2015. It was the first full year with HALO comfortably established in its consolidated home on the second floor of Research Institute 1 – it is nice to be “settled”. On the eve of our 10th anniversary we had our most productive and influential year to date. The reward and repeated evidence of positive impact on the lives of children and youth in Ottawa, Ontario, across Canada, and around the world overshadows the present challenges associated with progressive resource constraints. In 2015 we welcomed visiting scholars and students from Australia, Brazil, Chile, France and Zimbabwe; and we welcomed two new babies – baby Ruby (Casey Gray) and baby Charlie (Angela Wilson).

Self-assessments are usually positive, so my assessment of 2015 as another good and productive year should come as no surprise. However, there are objective metrics that can be used to substantiate HALO’s impact. For example, in addition to publishing 93 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals in 2015, the research publications from HALO scientists were cited >3000 times in 2015 alone – extraordinary evidence of the impact and credibility of our work. Furthermore, local, national and international news outlets routinely seek comment from HALO scientists as thought leaders; and HALO scientists were invited to deliver >130 presentations and lectures at scholarly conferences around the world (see presentations section for details) in 2015. There were many specific highlights in 2015 and I encourage you to read about these in this Annual Report.

2015 also marked the transition of Dr. Kristi Adamo and her research team to the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Adamo is one of the founding members of HALO and is the 2015 Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Young Investigator Award recipient. Congratulations to Dr. Adamo on her award and her new position. Dr. Adamo will remain connected to HALO as an Affiliated Investigator.

Through research, leadership, knowledge translation, partnerships, training and education, and advocacy HALO works diligently to promote and preserve healthy active lifestyles, while managing and treating childhood inactivity and obesity. As an identified area of focus, HALO benefits from the extensive support of the CHEO Research Institute, CHEO Foundation and CHEO itself. This Annual Report provides a catalogue of the activities and accomplishments made by HALO in 2015 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 HALO remains indebted to the donors, contributors, researchers, stakeholders, alumni 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 2016.

Mark Tremblay, Ph.D., D.Litt. (hons), FACSM, CSEP-CEP
Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO), CHEO Research Institute
Professor/Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
Chair, Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance