Obesity Epidemic in Brazil and Argentina: A Public Health Concern

Alberto K. Arbex, Denise R.T.W. Rocha, Marisa Aizenberg, Maria S. Ciruzzi


The obesity epidemic is rapidly advancing in South America, leading to inevitable health consequences. Argentinian and Brazilian health policies try to become adapted to the new economic and social framework that follows from this epidemic. It is in incipient and ineffective control so far since the prevalence of obesity was not restrained. The Argentine national legislation is more advanced, through the so-called “Ley de Obesidad.” In Brazil, there are numerous local initiatives but still not a comprehensive law. National policies relating to decisions regarding obesity are discussed in this paper. Trends in decisions issued in higher courts of Argentina (Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation—CSJN) and Brazil (Supreme Court of Justice—STF), in the last 15 years, seek to clarify the approach of each country and court´s resolutions. Marked differences were found in their positions. Finally, legal and health solutions to this obesity epidemic are proposed.

Key words: Jurisprudence; Obesity; Public health; Latin America

Full Text: PDF