The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute is proud to present its 11th annual report. HALO had another successful and productive year in 2017, continuing our commitment to improve the health and well-being of children and youth in Ottawa, Ontario, across Canada, and around the world. In 2017 we said good-bye to Katie Gunnell, Richard Larouche, Geneviève Leduc, and Veronica Poitras, and we welcomed several others as you will see in this report. Of note, both Katie and Richard have taken up tenure-track positions as Assistant Professors at Carleton University and the University of Lethbridge respectively. We had four graduate students complete their degrees (Caroline Dutil, MSc; Justin Lang, PhD; Alessandro Tirelli, MA; Darcie Valois, MA) furthering the reach and impact of the HALO extended family, and we welcomed several new graduate students to the group. The group continues to play tennis, soccer and road hockey at lunch, have walking or outdoor meetings whenever possible, and Hélène Sinclair does her best to activate CHEO staff through the Fit Club – all evidence of our commitment to healthy active living. HALO is proud to be the inaugural winner of the Alex Munter Cup for road hockey dominance at CHEO and maintains the right to boast about this at least until next year’s tournament.

HALO was proud to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 by promoting the ParticipACTION 150 Playlist  with our strategic partner ParticipACTION. In partnership with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, PartcipACTION, the University of Alberta, and the Public Health Agency of Canada we released the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (0-4 years). We launched the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy Second Edition and the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network terminology consensus project findings. With leadership from HALO, the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance initiated the development of the Global Matrix 3.0, collaborating with 53 countries to produce and compare physical activity report cards for children and youth around the world. With support from the Government of Ontario, Pat Longmuir initiated collaborations with colleagues in China to measure physical literacy in healthy children and children with medical conditions and disabilities. As well, with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Dr. Gary Goldfield has launched a large randomized controlled trial to test whether training kindergarten teachers to promote physical activity during school hours can improve children’s cognitive development. If this novel study shows the program is effective, this could lead to changes in the kindergarten curriculum involving the promotion of physical activity that could improve children’s cognitive development, resulting in improved learning and performance in school. Finally, Dr. Chaput initiated research collaborations with scientists in Australia to better understand the effects of screen media exposure on sleep patterns of children.

In 2017 HALO signed inter-institutional Memoranda of Understanding with Research Center of Sports and Physical Activity – Pedagogic University Mozambique and hosted visiting scholars and students from Hong Kong, Brazil and Canada. We also celebrated two births (Justin Lang’s son Jack and Kylie Schiblie’s daughter Eva) and Hélène Sinclair’s engagement in Hawaii in April.

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. This Annual Report provides a catalogue of the activities and accomplishments made by HALO in 2017 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 and our pledge to continue to work together for the health of our children.

Best wishes for a healthy, active 2018!

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