UGA researchers explore benefits of exercise among Hispanics

The Red & Black recently a news piece about Dr. Jennifer Gay‘s research recently published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health…

A heavy weight has been lifted from University of Georgia researchers.

Jennifer Gay, assistant professor of health promotion and behavior at the UGA College of Public Health, and her team of researchers have conducted a study suggesting that exercise reduces the risk of disease among a specific demographic — a population of Mexican-American adults located in the southern Texas city Brownsville.

Gay and her team focused on how exercise affects the amount of allostatic load on a person. Allostatic load refers to a measure of wear on the body that results from stress.

Several factors, including high blood pressure risk and metabolic risk, contribute to the allostatic load and can show indication of increased risk for a number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“For diabetes most people think about blood sugar as a risk, for cardiovascular disease most people think about cholesterol or blood pressure,” said Gay, a former assistant professor at the Brownsville Regional Campus at the University of Texas School of Public Health. “Allostatic load looks at all of these risks to give you an overall risk score.”

Read the entire article at The Red & Black.

– Rachel Brannon

Posted January 21, 2014.