Gary Goldfield

Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

Dr. Goldfield is a Senior Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute with the Healthy Active Living & Obesity (HALO) Research Group, and Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine, and cross-appointed to the Schools of Psychology, Human Kinetics, and Population Health at the University of Ottawa. He is also an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University and 3 other universities. Dr. Goldfield is also a registered clinical psychologist who provides psychological services to children, adolescents and adults in the community. He began the childhood obesity research program at the CHEO Research Institute in 2003 and is a founding member of HALO. He has held an Endowed Scholar Award from the CHEO Volunteer Association Board, a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and won an Award of Excellence as Outstanding Research Mentor from the CHEO Research Institute. He serves on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals in his field. Dr. Goldfield’s main research areas focus on the role that physical activity, screen time, biological and psychosocial factors play in the regulation of eating behaviour, body weight, and mental health among children and youth. In addition to behavioural and psychological approaches, his research program evaluates pharmacological interventions for the treatment and prevention of obesity and related complications. Dr. Goldfield has published over 150 scientific papers, has an h-index of 35, and his published research has been cited more than 4,700 times according to Scopus. Dr. Goldfield has also given over 150 scholarly presentations.

Related News

Research Projects

  1. Validating existing clinical cut-points for the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a large sample of Canadian children and youth.


    This study validated the existing British SDQ cut-points in a large sample of Canadian children and youth and developed Canadian-specific cut-points using a distributional approach and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The Canadian-specific clinical cut-points (90th percentile) using the distributional approach demonstrated higher specificity than the ROC curve derived cut-points. For this reason, the distributional cut-points have better population-based utility. Both the existing British and the Canadian-specific clinical cut-points for the total difficulties score met the threshold for clinical utility to predict mental health diagnosis.

  2. Heavy social media use and psychological distress among adolescents: the moderating role of sex, age, and parental support


    The current study is a secondary data analysis of the 2019 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) (46). This representative cross-sectional school-based survey included Ontarians in grades 7–12 from English and French public and Catholic schools (n = 14,142). Two hundred sixty-three schools from 47 public and Catholic school boards participated in this survey. Ethics approval was obtained from the Research Ethics Boards of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH; 029/2016), York University (e2014-099), and 47 public and Catholic school boards’ research review committees. Participation in the survey required active parental written consent and student assent. The survey was completed anonymously during school time.

  3. Loneliness during COVID-19 and its association with eating habits and 24-hour movement behaviours in a sample of Canadian adolescents


    Loneliness is a recognized public health concern and has exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lockdowns and decreased social interactions (Ernst et al., 2022). This may have resulted in emotional distress and disordered eating in adolescents; however, no studies have examined the association between loneliness and breakfast skipping. Skipping breakfast is an unhealthy behaviour pattern that can transition from adolescence to adulthood with detrimental impacts on health (Smith et al., 2010). Many adolescents skip breakfast despite the benefits of regular breakfast consumption.

  4. Longitudinal associations between different types of screen use and depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents


    Higher screen time was longitudinally associated with higher anxiety and depression symptoms at one-year follow-up in adolescents. Time-change associations between screen usage and depressive and anxiety symptoms were observed. Also, associations differed based on sex and screen type, whereby greater increases in screen use predicted greater emotional distress. Findings from this prospective analysis suggest that screen time is an important determinant of anxiety and depressive symptoms among adolescents. Future studies are recommended to help inform programs promoting screen time reduction with a goal to enhance adolescents’ mental health.

  5. Evidence supporting a combined movement behavior approach for children and youth’s mental health – a scoping review and environmental scan


    There is a wealth of knowledge on the association between combined MB and MH though only one tool examined how combined MB and MH are associated. Efforts are warranted to better track and intervene on population and individual-level 24-h MB for MH promotion and disease prevention.