Rio de Janeiro hospitals have been sending obese people to share medical test equipment with horses at the local race track, drawing complaints from activists who say the practice is humiliating.
"When people weigh more than the standard equipment can support they have to be directed to the Jockey Club, which is the only place in Rio where they have the appropriate equipment," a spokeswoman for the Rio state health secretariat said on Wednesday.
Patients needing stomach reduction surgery require a tomography, or multiple X-raying of body sections, which is normally carried out inside a chamber.
Rio hospitals only have standard tomography equipment for people weighing up to 265-287 pounds (120-130 kg). Tomographs used on horses are sturdier and more spacious than common devices.