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Please Don't Feed the Children

February 26, 2007 permalink

Child protectors in England have the perfect cure for an overweight boy — take away his mother! In 2000 child protectors in New Mexico seized three-year-old Anamarie Martinez-Regino from her parents for obesity, but gave her back a few months later after a public outcry. The current case appears to be an unmarried mother, so the outcome is unpredictable.

Is it possible the bean-counters have been working overtime on this? Putting obese children on half-rations, while collecting full foster care rates from the treasury, could ratchet up their profits reimbursement.



Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 04:06 GMT

Fourteen stone child 'risks care'

Connor McCreaddie - ITV1/PA Wire
Connor prefers to eat processed foods

An eight-year-old boy who weighs over 14 stone (89kg) may be taken into care by a local authority.

Connor McCreaddie, from Wallsend, North Tyneside, has lost a stone and a half in two months, but still prefers processed food to fruit and vegetables.

His mother, Nicola McKeown, has been called to a child protection conference with the local authority on Tuesday.

Family support may be offered, but the last resort would be for North Tyneside officials to place Connor into care.

Connor's pre-Christmas weight of 15 stones and eight pounds (98.8kg) is four times the weight of a healthy child of his age.

He has lost weight after beginning an intensive exercise regime and introducing some healthy food into his diet.

The eight-year-old does have a bike and a trampoline which he uses, but he has to stop after around 10 minutes because he becomes out of breath and can vomit.

He has difficulty dressing and washing himself, misses school regularly because of poor health and is a target for bullies.


Ms McKeown, 35, told the BBC: "Connor had a mouthful of apple once and he didn't like it.

"He refuses to eat fruit, vegetables and salads - he has processed foods.

"When Connor won't eat anything else, I've got to give him the foods he likes.

"I can't starve him.

"But I'm confident I can get his weight down with a bit of help."

Ms McKeown denied she is neglecting her son, and said he would be "skinny" if she had been.

She said she had seen doctors, but no-one had actually stepped in to offer her help.

She said that taking Connor into care would be "disastrous".

His story was due to be featured in ITV's Tonight With Trevor McDonald, which followed Connor and his mother for a month.

Child's interests 'paramount'

Dr Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said that removing a child from their family could be justified.

"The long-term impacts of this child's gross obesity are frightening.

"He has great risk of diabetes and coronary illness.

"His life expectancy is severely prejudiced. So action is required if his health is to be safeguarded."

A spokeswoman for North Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Primary Care Trust, said: "We share the concerns over the child's health and well-being.

"We have been working with the family over a prolonged period of time and will continue to do so.

"The child's interests are paramount."

Source: BBC