As Brazil’s overweight and obese population grows, the country is making an interesting change.
With a roughly half of the Brazilian population overweight and around 15 percent obese, Brazil’s regional governments appear to be making a few changes for the growing population.
Here’s somewhat of a timeline:
2005 – Rio Grande do Sol passes law requiring adequate space on public transportation for the obese.
2006 – Sao Paolo state passes law similar to Rio Grande do Sol, but also requires bigger seating for movie theaters, cinemas, and concert venues
2007 – Rio de Janeiro state law 5038 requires medical labs, clinics, and hospitals to have adequate equipment for the obese
2009 – Sao Paolo city metro begins installation of seats twice as wide and normal seats
2009 - Cuiabá bill introduced calls for a preferential line for the obese at banks
2010 – Rio de Janeiro state passes law 5829 requires classrooms for any and all courses to have adequate seating for the obese
2011 – Mato Grosso do Sol - state law is passed and calls for space to be set aside on intercity buses for obese passengers. However, bus companies are allowed to charge more for the larger passengers.
August 2012 – State law passed in Pernambuco allows obese to board public buses without going through turnstyle. Companies that refuse to comply fined 100,000 Brazilian Real (about US$49,360).
Two bills are currently making their way through the country’s federal government. One would reserve seats for obese passengers on public transportation throughout the nation. Another would require reserved or larger seating for various facilities, including those for sports, concerts and conferences, and would also include public transportation and classrooms.
It is estimated that by 2022, Brazil’s obesity rate could match that of the United States. In 2010, the CDC reported 35.7 percent of American adults as obese and 17% of American children.