Obese eight year old to stay with mother

The grossly overweight eight year old in Britain who was facing being taken into care, will be allowed to remain with his family.

Connor McCreaddie has been allowed by North Tyneside social services to remain with his mother following a meeting of a panel of experts yesterday to decide on his future.

Connor, who weighs more than 14 stone (89kg), is from Wallsend, North Tyneside, and his mother was called to a child protection conference with the local authority over the issue of his weight.

His mother, Nicola McKeown, says Connor has lost some weight but still prefers processed food to fruit and vegetables.

A formal agreement was made between the authorities and the family to safeguard and promote the child's welfare.

The council's Local Safeguarding Children Board says it had a "useful discussion" with all agencies and the family concerned and confirms that its hope and ambition is to enable the child to remain with his family.

The hearing took place under Section 47 of the Children Act which means a local authority can conduct an inquiry if it has "reasonable cause" to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm.

Connor has slimmed down from 15st 8lbs since Christmas thanks to an exercise programme and a healthier diet but according to his mother he still refuses to eat fruit, vegetables and salads and insists on having processed foods.

Connor who was so overweight he could hardly walk, had come to the attention of Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt who expressed her concern and supported the involvement of local services.

Brian Dow from the School Food Trust says there is an element of parental responsibility involved and Connor may well be addicted to the kinds of food that are making him obese.

Mr Dow says children are bombarded by messages about the wrong kinds of food.

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