• Dr. James J. Annesi is Professor in the School of Health Professions - Nutrition Sciences at UAB. His earlier faculty, clinical, and research positions were at Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, Kennesaw State University, the Veterans Affairs NJ Health Care System, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, Elizabeth General Medical Center, and Enhanced Performance Technologies. Jim is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior, The Obesity Society, and the American Psychological Association (in both exercise/performance psychology and health psychology). In 2019, Jim received the American Psychological Association’s Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology Award from APA Division 38: Society for Health Psychology. His research program includes over 200 peer-reviewed publications related to health behavior-change theory and methods applied to exercise adherence, controlled 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 researchers in the U.S. in the categories of “health behavior change,” “behavioral psychology,” and “exercise psychology.” His findings on associations between moderate physical activity, self-regulatory improvements, and eating-behavior changes form the basis of a weight-management treatment model tailored for large-scale applications. Dr. Annesi also authored over 100 articles and chapters, and four books, targeting methods for health-promotion practitioners. They translate his research for wide-ranging clinical applications. His protocols that cross age ranges include: Weight Loss For Life, The Coach Approach, Youth Fit 4 Life, Start For Life, The Member Adherence Plan, and The Health and Fitness Experience. The National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute identified his array of protocols as representing the most treatments by any single researcher or research group in the areas of physical activity, diet/nutrition, and obesity certified by their Research-tested Intervention Program and Evidence-based Cancer Control Program systems. They have been utilized within numerous community health promotion and preventive medicine settings in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan; with applications addressing diabetes, hypertension, depression, cancer recovery, Parkinson’s Disease, and pre- and post-bariatric surgery. In an earlier career, Jim was among the several youngest members of the United States Professional Tennis Association to obtain Master Professional status. He is a senior editor of Permanente Journal and on the editorial board of Health Behavior Research.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2021 Reciprocal relationship of mood and emotional eating changes through self-regulation of weight-loss behaviorsEating Behaviors.  43. 2021
    2021 Effects of Increased Exercise on Propensity for Emotional Eating Through Associated Psychological Changes 2021
    2021 Additional Effects of Reduced Emotional Eating on Associations of Weight Loss via Changes in Social Cognitive Theory VariablesInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine2021
    2021 Coaction of Obesity Treatment–Associated Changes in Physical Activity and Emotional Eating: Mediation by Body SatisfactionHealth Education and Behavior2021
    2021 Effects of Behaviorally Supported Exercise and Exercise-Induced Mood Changes on Elevated Blood Pressure and Hypertension in African American Adults with Severe ObesityJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health2021
    2021 Effects of obesity treatment-associated changes in mood and self-regulation on high emotional eating 2021
    2021 Psychological Mechanisms of Interactions between Improvements in Exercise and Healthy Eating Behaviors (Coaction) within a Community-Based Obesity Treatment Setting 2021
    2020 Changes in weight, physical activity and its theory-based psychosocial correlates within an adolescent bariatric clinic: Contrasts with adults with extreme obesityInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health.  32. 2020
    2020 Mitigation of the effects of emotional eating on sweets consumption by treatment-associated self-regulatory skills usage in emerging adult and middle-age women with obesityAppetite.  155. 2020
    2020 Using virtual agents to increase physical activity in young children with the virtual fitness buddy ecosystem: Study protocol for a cluster randomized trialContemporary Clinical Trials.  99. 2020
    2020 Contrasting Personal Characteristics and Psychosocial Correlates of Exercise and Eating Behavior Changes in Women Successful vs. Unsuccessful with Weight Loss and Maintenance 2020
    2020 Relationships Between Learned Self-Regulatory Skills and Changes in Weight-Loss Behaviors: Mediation by Barriers Self-Efficacy 2020
    2020 Participation of Female Emerging Adults in a Theory- and Evidence-Based Behavioral Weight Loss ProgramInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education.  41:45-53. 2020
    2020 Using Virtual Agents and Activity Monitors to Autonomously Track and Assess Self-Determined Physical Activity among Young Children: A 6-Week Feasibility Field Study 2020
    2020 Treatment-associated Improvements in Self-regulation and Mood as Theory-based Correlates of Increased Self-efficacy for Weight-management Behaviors 2020
    2020 Self-regulation foci and mood affect healthy and unhealthy eating behaviours differently in successful weight-loss treatment participantsInternational Journal of Psychology.  55:398-404. 2020
    2020 Psychosocial Correlates of Emotional Eating and Their Interrelations: Implications for Obesity Treatment Research and DevelopmentJournal of Primary Prevention.  41:105-125. 2020
    2020 Effects of a teen resident camp leadership program on changes in dimensions of self-control and interpersonal functioning, and their theory-based relationshipsEvaluation and Program Planning.  78. 2020
    2020 Association of decline in physical activity with increased negative mood following the weight-loss phase in women enrolled in a cognitive behavioral obesity treatmentJournal of Physical Activity and Health.  17:339-342. 2020
    2019 Change in behavioral exercise program-associated self-regulation enhances self-regulation-induced eating improvements across levels of obesity severityEvaluation and Program Planning.  75:31-37. 2019
    2019 Relations of change in fruit and vegetable intake with overall energy reduction and physical activity with weight change: Assessing theory-based psychosocial mediators 2019
    2019 Moderation of Mood in the Transfer of Self-Regulation From an Exercise to an Eating Context: Short- and Long-Term Effects on Dietary Change and Obesity in WomenInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine.  26:323-328. 2019
    2019 Generalizability of an adult-validated model for predicting increased physical activity in after-school program children: Effects of treatment formats on fitness indicatorsEvaluation and Program Planning.  73:33-43. 2019
    2018 Moderating effects of depression, food cravings, and weight-related quality-of-life on associations of treatment-targeted psychosocial changes and physical activity in adolescent candidates for bariatric surgeryJournal of Physical Activity and Health.  15:946-953. 2018
    2018 Effects of self-regulatory skill usage on weight management behaviours: Mediating effects of induced self-efficacy changes in non-obese through morbidly obese womenBritish Journal of Health Psychology.  23:1066-1083. 2018
    2018 Factors related to weight gain/loss among emerging adults with obesityAmerican Journal of Health Behavior.  42:3-16. 2018
    2018 Inclusion of Yoga, Breath Control, and Mindful Self-Regulation with Physical Exercise in 9- to 12-Year-Olds: Effects on Mood through Self-EfficacyJournal of Yoga and Physiotherapy.  4. 2018
    2018 Replication and Extension of the Weight Loss For Life Community-Based Treatment Protocol 2018
    2018 Exercise predicts long-term weight loss in women with class 1 and Class 2 Obesity through effects on emotional eating and its correlatesJournal of Physical Activity and Health.  15:57-63. 2018
    2018 Response Versus Nonresponse to Self-Regulatory Treatment Targets Is Not Discriminated by Personal Characteristics but Predicts Physical Activity, Eating Behavior, and Weight Changes in Women With ObesityInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education.  38:107-114. 2018
    2017 Contrasting university-based and older-age samples on weight-loss effects and their behavioral and psychosocial predictors associated with the Weight Loss For Life protocol 2017
    2017 Effects of mood change on self-regulatory skill usage and subsequent impacts on physical activity and eating changes within the weight-loss phase of differing behavioral obesity treatment types: A retrospective cohort study 2017
    2017 Does an Effective Theoretically Based Weight Loss Treatment for Middle-Aged Women Work for Young Women? 2017
    2017 Weight-Loss Treatment-induced Physical Activity Associated with Improved Nutrition through Changes in Social Cognitive Theory Variables in Women with Obesity 2017
    2017 Directionality in the Relationship of Self-regulation, Self-efficacy, and Mood Changes in Facilitating Improved Physical Activity and Nutrition Behaviors: Extending Behavioral Theory to Improve Weight-Loss Treatment Effects 2017
    2017 Effects of the Youth Fit 4 Life physical activity/nutrition protocol on body mass index, fitness and targeted social cognitive theory variables in 9- to 12-year-olds during after-school careJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health.  53:365-373. 2017
    2017 Psychosocial changes as correlates of weight regain vs. continued loss within 2-year trials of a self-regulation-focused community-based interventionClinical Obesity.  7:22-33. 2017
    2016 Increasing children’s voluntary physical activity outside of school hours through targeting social cognitive theory variablesJournal of Primary Care and Community Health.  7:234-241. 2016
    2016 Psychosocial predictors of emotional eating and their weight-loss treatment-induced changes in women with obesity 2016
    2016 A statement synthesis of emotional eating and body size recognition: Advancing nursing science related to obesity researchJournal of Advanced Nursing.  72:1023-1029. 2016
    2015 Improvement in emotional eating associated with an enhanced body image in obese women: Mediation by weight-management treatments' effects on self-efficacy to resist emotional cues to eatingJournal of Advanced Nursing.  71:2923-2935. 2015
    2015 Indirect effects of exercise on emotional eating through psychological predictors of weight loss in womenAppetite.  95:219-227. 2015
    2015 Changes in Self-Efficacy for Exercise and Improved Nutrition Fostered by Increased Self-Regulation Among Adults With ObesityJournal of Primary Prevention.  36:311-321. 2015
    2015 Bi-directional relationship between self-regulation and improved eating: Temporal associations with exercise, reduced fatigue, and weight loss 2015
    2015 Theory-based psychosocial factors that discriminate between weight-loss success and failure over 6 months in women with morbid obesity receiving behavioral treatments 2015
    2015 Association of a Behaviorally Based High School Health Education Curriculum With Increased ExerciseJournal of School Nursing.  31:196-204. 2015
    2015 Pilot testing a cognitive-behavioral protocol on psychosocial predictors of exercise, nutrition, weight, and body satisfaction changes in a college-level health-related fitness courseJournal of American College Health.  63:268-278. 2015
    2015 Effects of two cognitive-behavioral physical activity and nutrition treatments on psychosocial predictors of changes in fruit/vegetable and high-fat food intake, and weight 2015
    2015 Reciprocal effects of exercise and nutrition treatment-induced weight loss with improved body image and physical self-concept 2015
    2014 Treatment-Associated Changes in Body Composition, Health Behaviors, and Mood as Predictors of Change in Body Satisfaction in Obese Women: Effects of Age and Race/EthnicityHealth Education and Behavior.  41:633-641. 2014
    2014 Generalization of theory-based predictions for improved nutrition to adults with morbid obesity: Implications of initiating exercise 2014
    2014 Temporal aspects of psychosocial predictors of increased fruit and vegetable intake in adults with severe obesity: Mediation by physical activityJournal of Community Health.  39:454-463. 2014
    2013 Reciprocal effects of treatment-induced increases in exercise and improved eating, and their psychosocial correlates, in obese adults seeking weight loss: A field-based trialInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.  10. 2013
    2013 Effects of a cognitive-behaviorally based physical activity treatment for 4- and 5-year-old children attending US preschoolsInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine.  20:562-566. 2013
    2013 Reciprocal effects of changes in mood and self-regulation for controlled eating associated with differing nutritional treatments in severely obese women 2013
    2013 Association of multimodal treatment-induced improvements in stress, exercise volume, nutrition, and weight with improved blood pressure in severely obese womenInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine.  20:397-402. 2013
    2013 Effects of treatment differences on psychosocial predictors of exercise and improved eating in Obese, middle-age adultsJournal of Physical Activity and Health.  10:1024-1031. 2013
    2013 Moderation of age, sex, and ethnicity on psychosocial predictors of increased exercise and improved eating 2013
    2013 Cognitive-behavioural physical activity treatment in African-American pre-schoolers: Effects of age, sex, and BMIJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health.  49. 2013
    2013 Relative effects of reduced weight and increased physical activity on hemoglobin A1c: Suggestions for behavioral treatments 2013
    2012 Exercise program-induced mood improvement and improved eating in severely obese adultsInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education.  33:391-402. 2012
    2011 Relationship of initial self-regulatory ability with changes in self-regulation and associated fruit and vegetable consumption in severely obese women initiating an exercise and nutrition treatment: Moderation of mood and self-efficacyJournal of Sports Science and Medicine.  10:643-648. 2011
    2011 Self-regulatory skills usage strengthens the relations of self-efficacy for improved eating, exercise, and weight in the severely obese: Toward an explanatory model 2011
    2011 Effects of improved self-appraisal and mood factors on weight loss in obese women initiating supported exercise 2011
    2011 Effects of extension of the Youth Fit For Life intervention program by video vs. instructor supervision 2011
    2011 Relationship of exercise volume with change in depression and its association with self-efficacy to control emotional eating in severely obese women. 2011
    2010 Association of changes in self-efficacy, voluntary physical activity, and risk factors for type 2 diabetes in a behavioral treatment for obese preadolescents: A pilot studyJournal of Pediatric Nursing.  25:393-399. 2010
    2010 Relations of self-regulation and self-efficacy for exercise and eating and BMI change: A field investigation 2010
    2010 Psychological factors discriminating between successful and unsuccessful weight loss in a behavioral exercise and nutrition education treatmentInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine.  17:168-175. 2010
    2010 Relations of changes in self-regulatory efficacy and physical self-concept with improvements in body satisfaction in obese women initiating exercise with cognitive-behavioral supportBody Image.  7:356-359. 2010
    2010 Relationship of physical activity and weight loss in women with Class II and class III obesity: Mediation of exercise-induced changes in tension and depression 2010
    2010 Psychological factors associated with weight loss in obese and severely obese women in a behavioral physical activity interventionHealth Education and Behavior.  37:593-606. 2010
    2010 A meta-analytic review of the youth fit for life intervention for effects on body mass index in 5- to 12-year-old childrenHealth Psychology Review.  4:6-21. 2010
    2010 Changes in theory-based psychological factors predict weight loss in women with class III obesity initiating supported exerciseJournal of Obesity.  2010. 2010
    2010 Dose-response and self-efficacy effects of an exercise program on vigor change in obese womenAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences.  339:127-132. 2010
    2009 Preliminary effects of the Youth Fit For Life protocol on body mass index in Mexican American children in YMCA before- and after-school care programs 2009
    2008 Relations of mood and exercise with weight loss in formerly sedentary obese women.American Journal of Health Behavior.  32:676-683. 2008
    2008 Relations of self-appraisal and mood changes with voluntary physical activity changes in African American preadolescents in an after-school care interventionJournal of Sports Science and Medicine.  7:260-268. 2008
    2008 Relations of exercise, self-appraisal, mood changes and weight loss in obese women: Testing propositions based on Baker and Brownell's (2000) modelAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences.  335:198-204. 2008
    2008 Relations of mood and exercise with weight loss in formerly sedentary obese womenAmerican Journal of Health Behavior.  32:676-683. 2008
    2007 Relations of changes in exercise self-efficacy, physical self-concept, and body satisfaction with weight changes in obese white and African American women initiating a physical activity programEthnicity and Disease.  17:19-22. 2007
    2007 Effects of the Youth Fit For Life protocol on physiological, mood, self-appraisal, and voluntary physical activity changes in African American preadolescents: Contrasting after-school care and physical education formats 2007
    2006 Relations of physical self-concept and self-efficacy with frequency of voluntary physical activity in preadolescents: Implications for after-school care programmingJournal of Psychosomatic Research.  61:515-520. 2006
    2005 Relationship between before-to-after-exercise feeling state changes and exercise session attendance over 14 weeks: Testing principles of Operant ConditioningEuropean Journal of Sport Science.  5:159-163. 2005
    2004 Psychological improvement is associated with exercise session attendance over 10 weeks in formerly sedentary adultsEuropean Journal of Sport Science.  4:1-10. 2004
    2004 Relationship of perceived health and appearance improvement, and self-motivation, with adherence to exercise in previously sedentary womenEuropean Journal of Sport Science.  4:1-13. 2004
    2004 Effects of association and dissociation formats on resistance exercise-induced emotion change and physical self-concept in older women 2004
    2003 Effects of a cognitive behavioral treatment package on exercise attendance and drop out in fitness centersEuropean Journal of Sport Science.  3:1-16. 2003
    2003 Effects of cardiovascular exercise frequency and duration on depression and tension changes over 10 weeksEuropean Journal of Sport Science.  3:1-12. 2003
    2001 Effects of music, television, and a combination entertainment system on distraction, exercise adherence, and physical output in adultsCanadian Journal of Behavioural Science.  33:193-202. 2001

    Education And Training

  • Doctor of Psychology, Walden University 1993
  • Full Name

  • James Annesi