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 17 staff (including 5 researchers), a childhood obesity clinical team (Centre for Healthy Active Living), 16 graduate students, trainees, undergraduate 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 (CAPL) Development of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
Development of the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth: An Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep – a world first Co-creation of the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth which is now the ParticipACTION Report Card
Creation of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) 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
Creation of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance (AHKGA) Leadership/contribution to Ottawa Public Health’s Childcare Healthy Eating and Active Living Guidelines
Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play Development of Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years, and for Children and Youth
Since its inception in 2007, HALO has received over $16 million in research funding; produced more than 650 peer-reviewed publications; has given more than 1200 scholarly presentations locally, nationally and internationally; and secured more than 1.5 billion media impressions!

Our Vision

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

Our 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.

Our Lines of Business

ResearchLeadershipTraining and EducationKnowledge TranslationPartnershipAdvocacyGood Governance
  • 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.
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.
Show leadership and innovation in translating, disseminating, and mobilizing child-focused healthy 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.
Be effective, efficient, and transparent in all aspects of our work.
Download our one-page info sheet in English or French.