Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Health Sciences


Community and Enviromental Health

Faculty Sponsor

Caile Spear


Healthy Habits, Healthy U (HHHU) is a collaboration between St. Luke’s Mountain Tumor Institute (MSTI), Boise State University, and the Boise School District (BSD). Boise State University provides trained teaching assistants who deliver the lessons and MSTI’s pathology department provides the cancerous and non-cancerous tissue samples for the students to examine. This primary prevention cancer education program focuses on teaching students how their current daily health habits can impact their risks of developing cancer. Utilizing various teaching methods and materials, students learn how the 5, 2, 1, 0 health tips: 5 fruits and vegetables, 2 hours of screen time, 1 hour of physical activity, and 0 sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), can improve their health.

In Spring 2017, eighth-grade health students (N=707) completed a pre and post-test. Overall knowledge and correlation between unhealthy habits and risk of developing cancer increased (p < .001, d = 1.36). Students (85%) were able to correctly identify 3 of their unhealthy habits and corresponding healthier alternatives. Six additional survey questions asked about students’ likelihood of altering behaviors over the next two weeks. A majority (87.5%) mentioned reducing SSB’s consumed, (86%) increasing fruits and vegetables consumption, and (83.5%) increasing their physical activity and reducing screen time.

HHHU has been incorporated into the BSD eighth-grade health curriculum and is expanding to 4th and 12th-grade. Students and teachers respond positively to this hands-on, interactive cancer program.