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About James Annesi

Dr. James Annesi joined the YMCA of Metro Atlanta in early 2000 as Director of Wellness Advancement. He is also presently Professor of Health Promotion, and Community Health Promotion Research and Development Liaison, at Kennesaw State University’s Wellstar College of Health and Human Services. He was previously on the faculties of Rutgers University and The College of New Jersey,and held clinical and research positions at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Trinitas Medical Center, and Enhanced Performance Technologies. He is an elected Fellow of The American Academy of Health Behavior, The Obesity Society, and the American Psychological Association.
James’s research program includes approximately 140 peer-reviewed publications related to health behavior change theory and methods applied to exercise adherence, weight management, and the effects of physical activity on mental health, self-image, and other quality-of-life factors. His recent findings on linkages between physical activity, psychosocial changes, and sustained weight loss form the theoretical bases for an emerging system for the large-scale treatment and prevention of obesity in both adults and children – with an emphasis on maintaining more healthy weights. His study articulating some of these findings was the “most read” article in the journal Behavioral Medicine for the years 2012-2013. His research in the late 1990’s initiated the use of virtual reality into exercise behavior change.
James also authored over a hundred articles and chapters for health promotion practitioners, and 3 books that translate scientific research for applied use. His evidence-based programs, THE COACH APPROACH, Youth Fit 4 Life, Start For Life, and The Health and Fitness Experience, are presently used within a variety of preventive medicine, community health promotion, university, and academic medicine settings in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, and Japan. Their research and development has been supported by agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, U.S. Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Canadian Interior Health Authority, along with numerous private foundations. Support of their efficacy has come from the National Institutes of Health’s Research-tested Intervention Programs and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Best Practices for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, among others.
James serves as an advisor and contributor to media outlets such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, USA Today, and The London Times


Present Part-Time Professor of Health Promotion, Kennesaw State University

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Contact Information

Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education
Kennesaw State University


Books and Chapters (8)

Peer Reviewed Research Publications (155)