UK HealthCare

UK Researcher Studying Exercise During Pregnancy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17, 2011) — If mothers adopt healthy habits during the short term of pregnancy, can this intervention improve their children's health for the long term?

UK researcher Kevin Pearson is studying just that — how a female's lifestyle and behaviors during pregnancy might affect her child's long-term health. Pearson, who has a doctorate in pathobiology and molecular medicine from the University of Cincinnati, is interested in short-term maternal interventions during pregnancy that can decrease childhood obesity and diabetes risk.

"Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for an entire lifetime may seem difficult for many women," Pearson said. "But we're trying to see if maintaining those healthy habits for nine to 18 months — during pregnancy and nursing — can lead to greater long-term health benefits for their children, including a lowered risk of obesity, diabetes and cancer."

Using mice as a model, Pearson is specifically focusing on what health benefits, if any, the offspring could earn from a pregnant mother's daily exercise regimen. The findings of his study are under review for publication.

Pearson will be one of the many researchers attending the first Barnstable Brown Obesity and Diabetes Research Day Tuesday, May 17, in the newly opened pavilion of UK Chandler Hospital. Clinical and basic science researchers from UK and other regional institutes will be present to highlight and promote their work in the areas of obesity and diabetes.  

A major feature of the day will be presentations by internationally recognized experts in these fields. To facilitate communication of research, a poster session will be held during the event. In addition, podium presentations from selected abstracts will highlight local cutting-edge research.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 257-1754, ext. 225; or