British social workers decided today to allow an eight-year-old boy who weighs almost 90kg to remain at home with his mother, who has refused to stop feeding him junk food.
Connor McCreaddie’s mother says her 14-stone, 89kg 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 into care the boy, whose 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.
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.
Connor, from Wallsend, Newcastle, is four times the healthy weight of his peers and was even heavier before Christmas, prompting his 35-year-old mother to seek help.
He lost weight following advice from health workers and a dietician at the start of the year.
Local authorities have issued a statement saying they worry about the schoolboy’s health.