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Table 1 How Structured Days Hypothesis (SDH) operates across obesogenic behavior

From: Understanding differences between summer vs. school obesogenic behaviors of children: the structured days hypothesis

Obesogenic Behavior Protective Element of ‘Structured’ School Day Impact on Obesogenic Behavior School Example(s)
Physical Activity Compulsory and voluntary PA opportunities for physical activity to occur before, during, and/or after school. Increased daily PA • Walking to/from school
• Recess
• Physical education
• Transitions between class/activities
• Classroom PA Promotion
• Before/after-school programs or sports clubs
Sedentary/Screen Time Segmented school day limits amount of time children spend seated. Limited non-educational screen time. Decreased daily sedentary/screen time • Bouts of sedentary time broken-up by transitions in and to/from class
• Classroom teachers control screen time exposure
Sleep Presence of school day establishes consistent early bed/wake times for children and evening/morning routines and rules. Earlier bed/wake times • Parent/Guardian enforces earlier bed/wake time rules on school days
• Child is awake earlier to engage in morning intentional and unintentional PA
• Early bed time reduces child engagement in sedentary/screen time
Diet Structure of school day limits eating occasions for children. Schools offer regulated access to nutrient dense meals. Decreased access to unhealthy foods/beverages and reduced overconsumption • Scheduled opportunities to consume foods/beverages in school (e.g., breakfast, recess, lunch).
• NSLP serve nutritionally balanced, age-appropriate portions.
  1. NSLP National School Lunch Program