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James O. Hill, Ph.D.

James Hill

Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Executive Director, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center
Director, Center for Human Nutrition
Director, Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC)

James O. Hill, Ph.D. is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado.  He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of New Hampshire in Physiological Psychology.  He served as Chair of the first World Health Organization Consultation on Obesity in 1997.  He is Past President of the American Society for Nutrition and The Obesity Society (TOS).  He was also a member of the Expert Panel on Obesity of the National Institutes of Health that developed first U.S guidelines for the treatment and prevention of obesity.

Dr. Hill has published more than 350 scientific articles and book chapters in the area of obesity.  Many of these focus on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity in weight management. He is the recipient of the 2007 TOPS award from The Obesity Society. He has received the Centrum Center and McCollum awards from the American Society for Nutrition. 

Dr. Hill is a cofounder of the National Weight Control Registry, a registry of individuals who have been successful in maintenance of a reduced body weight.  He also is co-founder of America on the Move, a national weight gain prevention initiative that aims to inspire Americans to make small changes in how much they eat and how much they move to prevent weight gain.  He is the author of the Step Diet Book, published in June 2004. Dr. Hill serves on the boards of Livewell Colorado, the Metro Denver Health & Wellness Commission, and the Colfax Marathon. 



National Research Service Award from NIH, 1982

Member NIDDK Task Force on Obesity 6/91- 1999

Co-founder, National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)

Member, Steering Committee on Healthy Weights; Providing Advice to USDA and DHHS for 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Chair, Advisory Committee for ILSI PAN program, 1995-present.

Member, NHLBI Expert Panel on Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease. 1995-1998.

Member, NIH Nutrition Study Section, 1996-2001; Chair 2000-2001.

Chair, WHO Consultation on Obesity, June 1997.

President, North American Association for the Study of Obesity 1997-8.

MERIT Award from NIH, 1998-2005

President’s Lecturer, American College Sports Medicine, 2000

McGovern Award, Ball St. University, 2004.

Centrum Center Science Award, American Society for Nutritional Sciences (2004)

Editor-in-Chief, Obesity Management (2004-2010)

Member, NIH CIDO Study Section (2005-present)

McCollum Award, American Society for Nutrition (2007)

TOPS Award, NAASO the Obesity Society (2007)

Master Scholar, Western Kentucky University (2007)

Invited Scholar, Southern Illinois University (2007)

President, American Society for Nutrition (2008-9)


Publications (representative from over 350)

Hill, J.O., Wyatt, H.R., Reed, G.W. and Peters, J.C. Obesity and the environment: Where do we go from here? Science 299:853-855, 2003.

Foster, G.D., Wyatt, H.R., Hill, J.O., McGuckin, B.G., Brill, C., Mohammed, S., Szapary, P.O., Rader, D.J., Edman, J.S. , and Klein, S. A multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical trial of the Atkin’s diet. NE J Med 348:282-290, 2003.

Phelan, S., Hill, J.O., Lang, W., DiBello, J.R., and Wing R.R. Recovering from relapse among successful weight maintainers. Am J Clin Nutr 78:1079-1084, 2003.

Wyatt, H.R. and Hill, J.O. What role for weight-loss medication? Postgrad Med 115:38-45, 2004.

Wyatt, H.R., Peters, J.C., Reed, G.W., Grunwald, G.K, Barry, M., Thompson, H., Jones, J. and Hill, J.O.  Using electronic step counters to increase lifestyle physical activity: Colorado on the Move.  Journal of Physical Activity and Health 1:181-191, 2004.

Hill, J.O., Sallis, J.F., and Peters, J.C.  Economic analysis of eating and physical activity: A next step for research and policy change.  Am J Prev Med 27(3S):111-116, 2004.

Wyatt, HR, Peters JC, Reed GW, Barry M, Hill JO.  A Colorado statewide survey of walking and its relation to excessive weight.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 37:724-30, 2005.

Hill, J.O. and Wyatt H.R.  Role of physical activity in preventing and treating obesity.  J Appl Phyisol 99:765-770, 2005.

Hill, J.O., Wyatt, H.R., Phelan, S. and Wing, R. The National Weight Control Registry:  Is it Useful in Helping Deal with our Obesity Epidemic? Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 37:206-10, 2005.

Eckel RH, Hernandez TL, Bell, ML, Weil KM, Shepard TY, Grunwald GK, Sharp TA, Francis CC, and Hill JO.  Carbohydrate balance predicts weight/fat gain in adults.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 86:803-808, 2006.

Rodearmel SJ, Wyatt, HR, Barry MJ, Dong F, Pan D, Israel RG, Cho SS, McBurney MI, Hill JO.  A family-based approach to preventing excessive weight gain.  Obesity 14:1392-1401, 2006.

Rodearmel SJ, Wyatt, HR, Stroebele, N, Smith SM, Ogden LG, and Hill JO. Small Changes in Dietary Sugar and Physical Activity as an Approach to Preventing Excessive Weight Gain: the America On the Move Family Study. Pediatrics 120:e867-e879, 2007.

Stroebele, N., Barz, R.L., Wittrock, D., and Hill, J.O.  Small-changes approach to improving the nutritional quality of school menu items.  Journal of Child Nutrition and Management 2, 2007. (URL:

Stroebele N., Wyatt, H.R., Reed, G.S., Peters, J.C., Hill, J.O. Step-Counter Determined Walking in Youth in Colorado. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 4: 315-324, 2007.

Phelan, S, Wyatt, HR, Nassery, S., Dibello, J., Hill JO, Wing, RR. Three-Year Weight Change Among Successful Weight Losers Who Lost Weight Following A Low Carbohydrate Diet. Obesity, 15:2470 - 2477 2007.

Catenacci V.A., Ogden L.G., Stuht J, Phelan S, Wing R.R., Hill J.O, Wyatt H.R. Physical activity patterns in the national weight control registry.  Obesity 16, 153 - 161 2007.

Wyatt H.R. Jortberg B.T, Spina C., Garner S., Dong F., Grunwald G.K., Hill J.O. Producing Weight Loss Within a Community Initiative that Promotes Decreased Energy Intake, Increased Physical Activity and Increase Dairy Consumption: Calcium Weighs-In. Physical Activity and Health 5: 28-44, 2007.

Donahoo W, Wyatt HR, Kriehn J, Stuht J, Dong F, Hosokawa P, Grunwald GK, Johnson SL, Peters JC, Hill JO.  Dietary fat increases energy intake across the range of typical consumption in the U.S.  Obesity 16: 64-69, 2008.

Lanningham-Foster L, Foster RC, McCrady SK, Manohar C, Jensen TB, Mitre NG, Hill JO, Levine JA.  Changing the school environment to increase physical activity in children.  Obesity doi:10.1038/oby.2008.282.

Stroebele N,  Ogden LG,  Hill JO.  Do calorie-controlled portion sizes of snacks reduce energy intake? Appetite,

Hill JO. Can a Small Changes Approach Help Address the Obesity Epidemic? A Report of the Joint Taskforce of the America Society for Nutrition (ASN), Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and the International Food Information Council (IFIC). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 89:477-484, 2009.

Bahr DB, Browning RC, Wyatt HR, Hill JO.  Exploiting social networks to mitigate the obesity epidemic.  Obesity (2009) 17 4, 723–728. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.615 .

Stroebele N, de Castro J, Stuht J, Catenacci V, Wyatt HR and Hill, JO.  A Small-Changes Approach Reduces Energy Intake in Free-Living Humans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 28: 63-68, 2009.

MacLean, P, Higgins, J, Wyatt, H, Melansion, E, Johnson, G/ Jackman, M, Giles, E, Brown, I, and Hill J. Regular Exercise Attenuates the Metabolic Drive to Regain Weight After Long Term Weight Loss American Journal of Physiology 297: R793-R802, 2009.

Hill JO, Wyatt HR, Peters JC. Using the energy gap to address obesity: a commentary.  Journal of the American Dietetic Association 109:1848-1854, 2009.


NIH grant (DK42549) "The influence of diet on nutrient balance in man", P.I. 15% effort, MERIT AWARD, Period of Support 8/98 - present.

NIH grant (DK48520) "Development of a Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, PI, 20% effort, Period of Support 1/95-6/10.

NIH grant (DK57151) “Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD)”. PI, 25% effort, Period of Support 10/99-7/13.

USDA grant (2008-04432) America On the Move Family Program for Weight Gain Prevention”. PI, 20% effort, Period of Support 3/1/09-2/29/12.

NIH grant (RR025780), “Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CCTSI), Ron Sokol, PI,  10% effort for JOH, Period of Support 05/19/2008-04/30/2013.

NIH grant (HD057229), “The Impact of an Environmental and Curriculum Change on Children's Obesity Rates”, Lois Brinks , PI, 10% effort for JOH.  Periods of support 1/1/2014-12/31/2014.