February 27, 2007 / 6:43 PM / 10 years ago

Obese British boy to stay with family

2 Min Read

<p>Connor McCreaddie (L), eight, and his mother Nicola McKeown pose for photographers outside their home in Wallsend, northern England February 26, 2007. British social workers decided on Tuesday to allow an eight-year-old boy who weighs almost 200 lb (90 kg) to remain at home with his mother, even though she has refused to stop feeding him junk food.Nigel Roddis</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - British social workers decided on Tuesday to allow an eight-year-old boy who weighs almost 200 lb (90 kg) to remain at home with his mother, even though she has refused to stop feeding him junk food.

Connor McCreaddie's mother says her 196-lb (89 kg) son will not eat healthy food like fruits and vegetables and had rejected a suggestion that she put a lock on the fridge.

Social workers had considered taking the boy into care. His plight has prompted intense media interest in a country increasingly concerned about rising child obesity levels.

But after a meeting with Connor and his mother Nicola McKeown, 35, the local council in North Tyneside in northeastern England said he would remain at home.

"We have had a useful discussion today during which all agencies and the family confirmed that the priority in this matter is the eight-year-old boy," the council said in a statement.

"The Local Safeguarding Children Board was able to confirm that its hope and ambition is to enable this child to remain with his family."

The council said it had made a formal agreement with the family "to safeguard and promote the child's welfare." It gave no further details.

Single mother McKeown, 35, who suffers from depression, had dismissed allegations she had been neglecting her son, who is four times the healthy weight of same-age children and was even heavier at 218 lb (99 kg) before Christmas.

Connor, from Wallsend, Newcastle, has lost one-and-a-half stone since the start of the year after his mother sought advice from health workers and a dietician.

With studies showing Britain has the worst rate of obesity among children in Europe, the country's media regulator plans to ban television advertising for junk food aimed at school-age children from next year.

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