James J. Annesi, Ph.D.


Dr. James Annesi was recently appointed Vice President of Health Initiatives for the Central Coast YMCA, Monterey, CA. He also holds a professor appointment at The School of Health Professions: University of Alabama at Birmingham. His earlier faculty, clinical, and research positions were at Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, The Veterans Affairs NJ Health Care System, Kennesaw State University, Elizabeth General Medical Center, Enhanced Performance Technologies, and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. Jim is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior, The Obesity Society, and the American Psychological Association (in both health psychology and exercise/performance psychology). In 2019, Jim received the American Psychological Association’s Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology Award from APA Division 38: Society for Health Psychology.


Jim’s research program includes over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications (95% of which he is first or sole author) related to health behavior-change theory and methods applied to exercise adherence, self-regulated eating, weight management, and the effects of physical activity on mental health, body image, emotional eating, and other quality-of-life factors. He is among the six most cited U.S. researchers in the categories of “behavioral psychology,” “health behavior change,” and “exercise psychology.” His findings on associations between moderate physical activity, self-regulatory improvements, and eating-behavior changes form the basis of an emerging weight-management treatment paradigm tailored for large-scale applications. In early trials, this novel intervention demonstrated high degrees of success with the persistent problem of sustaining reductions in weight and health risks.  

Meet the other Scientific Advisory Panel members