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Obese boy's mother denies neglect

27th February 2007

The mother of an eight-year-old boy who weighs over 14 stone has been told he won't be taken into care.

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Connor McCreaddie, from North Tyneside, is so overweight his health is seriously under threat to the extent that Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has expressed concern about his situation.  Connor’s mother, Nicola McKeown, was called to a child protection conference with her local authority to try and tackle the problems her child faces.  She has been offered family support but as a last resort North Tyneside authorities could decide to place Connor in care if his health doesn't improve.

The young boy is four times the size he should be for his age and has difficulty washing and dressing himself.  He says he prefers processed food to fruit and vegetables and in a typical day will eat sugary cereal, a pizza, a burger and chips and chocolate biscuits.   His mother said he had a mouthful of apple once but didn’t like it.  Since Christmas Connor has lost some weight thanks to an intensive exercise regime and by introducing some healthy food into his diet. The eight-year-old uses a trampoline but says he has to stop after around 10 minutes because he becomes out of breath and can vomit. He regularly misses school because of his poor health and suffers from bullying due to his size.

Speaking about the case, Mrs Hewitt said she endorsed the involvement of the local authorities in trying to help Connor.  She added, "We have got a boy whose life and health have already been shockingly damaged because he is quite clearly eating the wrong food, and not able to take enough exercise.?

 

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