A boy of eight who weighs as much as an adult man could be taken from his family and placed into care for health reasons.

Tipping the scales at 14 stone, Connor McCreaddie is three times as heavy as the average child of his age.

At a meeting tomorrow, his mother Nicola McKeown must convince officials that she has not abused her son by allowing him to grow so fat.

Connor could be placed on the child protection register along with victims of physical and sexual abuse, or on the less serious register of children in need.

With childhood obesity soaring, doctors have warned that such desperate measures could become more common.

It would be a devastating blow for Mrs McKeown, who insists her boy "has always been big".

Connor's weight has already caused him to break four beds and five bicycles. Last year he reached 15-and-a-half stone.

He has also been bullied and cannot fit into the school uniform. Just a five-minute walk leaves him out of breath or vomiting.

Mrs McKeown, 35, of Wallsend, near Newcastle upon Tyne, said: "I try to be strict with him and limit what he eats but some days I just think, 'my God, you have had so much today'.

"When he was a baby I had to give him bottles every hour and he used to constantly cry with hunger.

"By the time he was 18 months, he was in age five clothes. And when he was five, he was more than nine stone."

Mrs McKeown, who is unemployed and suffers from depression, said she tried to make sure that Connor followed a healthy diet.

But she claimed that others will hand him snacks in the street, and Connor hunts out crisps. He has even eaten until he made himself sick.

"It worries me sick because I can hear him choking of a night time and he gets nosebleeds frequently," said Mrs McKeown, who is separated from Connor's father.

"I've asked the doctors to check him, but they can't seem to find anything wrong.

"In a way I hope that he has a disease or syndrome, so that he can be given a tablet or treatment that will make it all stop."

In an interview for tomorrow's Tonight with Trevor McDonald, she added that Connor wants "chips with everything", loves curry, and snacks junk food all day while sitting at the computer.

"He has double, treble what a normal eight-year- old would have, but if I didn't give him enough at teatime then he would just go on at us all night for snacks and stuff."

Mrs McKeown said she had cut his portions and would continue to do so.

But the family has stopped short of putting a lock on the fridge.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Michael Markiewicz, an expert on childhood obesity, says the family's treatment of Connor amounts to child abuse, however unintentional it is.

"They love him, but they actually love him to death. The way they are treating him and feeding him, they are slowly killing him," he tells the programme.

At tomorrow's meeting Mrs McKeown must answer to social services, nurses, her GP, a consultant paediatrician, education representatives and a police officer.

"I will fight for Connor, I will not let them take him away from me," she said.

"How can he be a victim of child abuse? We all love him.

"If he was abused I would not be feeding him, I would not be jumping to his every beck and call to make him food to eat."

A spokesman for North Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Primary Care Trust said they had worked with the family for some time, and were concerned about Connor's health and wellbeing.

The problem of child obesity is escalating. Around 13.4 per cent of children under ten are obese - compared with 9.9 per cent in 1995.

Problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which previously only affected adults, have been found in children.

The Government has said it wants to halt the yearly increase in obesity by 2010.