With childhood obesity on the rise in the United States, Carbon County is hoping to educate children on how to make better lifestyle choices that will curb this rising trend.

On Thursday, the county commissioners voted to declare Wednesday, May 12, as county "Pop-out" day, a day to substitute sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks and juices for water.

Georgia Farrow, 4-H program assistant from the Penn State Cooperative Extension, received the proclamation from the board and thanked them for their support. She also handed out bottles of water with a label saying, "Pop-Out" day, May 12, 2010.

In the proclamation, which was read by Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, it states, "The youth of Carbon County is one of the county's most valuable resources. One out of every five children in the United States is obese or at the risk of becoming obese ... data has proven that there is a direct relationship between increased soft drink consumption, inactivity and overweight children. It is further understood that high sugar beverages provide limited nutritional value and should be consumed on a limited basis as per the food guide pyramid.

"Therefore, the Carbon County Board of Commissioners, do hereby proclaim May 12, 2010, as 'Pop-out' day in Carbon County and urge all children, their parents and the citizens of Carbon County to restrain or restrict their consumption of empty calories as in soft drinks, iced tea and sports drinks."

"Pop-Out" day is part of a wellness project created by the Wellness Council.