Healthy Schools Tucson

Healthy Schools Tucson is a 10-session obesity prevention program for middle school students. HST participants learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle through fun, hands-on education, taught by undergraduate/graduate students from the University of Arizona College of Public Health. ZFCPHP receives support from Dr. Frank Marcus, University of Arizona Professor Emeritus of Medicine, and proudly partners with Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School (SPPS) to host HST. 

With support from 6th grade teacher Mrs. Lisa Salgado, UA MEZCOPH students lead HST sessions at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School.

Healthy Schools Tucson aims to reduce childhood obesity prevalence through achievement of the following goals:

  1. COVID-19 prevention and reducing stress
  2. Immunity and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables
  3. Monitor sugar intake
  4. Awareness of "portion distortion" and control
  5. Moving our body, every day
  6. Increased sleep and hydration

The HST curriculum includes lessons on healful habits in nutrition, physical activity, hydration, stress management, and self-care. Program participants complete a validated student wellness questionnaire before and at the end of the HST program to monitor changes in health habits. 

Fall 2019: HST participants learning about "food as energy"

Since Fall 2018, HST has reached over 650 middle school students in Tucson, Arizona and has been delivered by undergraduate/graduate UA MEZCOPH students through service-based learning (HPS 497L-001). Read our our participant and parent testimonials below:

"After learning about how much sugar was in sodas, I have cut down on drinking so much soda. I tried the healthier soda alternative (¼ cup of 100% fruit juice, carbonated water, and ice) at home and even my mom likes it!” -8th grade student

“My daughter has now had the [HST] program in both sixth and eighth grade. She learned a tremendous amount about how to establish important healthy lifestyle habits. She looked forward to the Healthy Schools Tucson program every week. Thank you for providing the program to the students!” -8th grade parent

For more information about Healthy Schools Tucson, please contact Sabrina Plattner, Health Educator Sr. (

SPPS students learn about physical activity for a healthy heart!