Law · Legislation

General Health Law (1984)


This law regulates the right to health that every person has according to Article 4 of the Constitution of Mexico. First enacted in 1984, it has been amended several times (last one in 2024).


The General Health Law (in Spanish, “Ley General de la Salud”) outlines the goals of the right to the protection of health enshrined in Article 4 of the Constitution of Mexico: physical and mental well-being; prolongation and improvement of the quality of human life; protection and enhancement of values that contribute to the creation, conservation, and enjoyment of health conditions that contribute to social development; promotion of solidarity and responsible attitudes among the population in the preservation, conservation, improvement, and restoration of health; enjoyment of health services and social assistance that efficiently and timely meet the needs of the population; knowledge for the proper use and utilization of health services; and development of teaching and scientific and technological research for health (Art. 2)

Among the many provisions of the law, for the purposes of FULL the following are most relevant:

  • Prevention, control, and monitoring of nutrition are considered matters falling under general health (Art. 3.IV);
  • Promotion and improvement of nutrition are considered basic services for right to the protection of health (Art. 27.IX);
  • Nutrition is considered a component of the promotion of health (Art. 111.II);
  • The Ministry of Health is responsible for:

I) Establishing a permanent system of epidemiological surveillance of nutrition;

II) Regulating the development of programs and activities in education on nutrition, prevention, treatment, and control of malnutrition and obesity, aimed at promoting adequate eating habits, preferably in the most vulnerable social groups.

III) Regulating the establishment, operation, and evaluation of nutrition services in areas determined based on the greatest deficiencies and health problems;

IV) Regulating the nutritional value and characteristics of food in collective service establishments and in non-alcoholic food and beverages.

V) Promoting chemical, biological, social, and economic research aimed at understanding the nutritional conditions that prevail in the population and establishing the minimum nutrient needs for maintaining good health conditions in the population;

VI) Recommending diets and procedures that lead to the effective consumption of the minimum nutrients by the general population, and providing, within its sphere of competence, for such consumption.

VII) Establish the nutritional needs that must be met by basic food baskets. In the case of industrialized wheat and corn flours, mandatory fortification will be required, specifying the nutrients and amounts that must be included;

VIII) Provide the Ministry of Commerce and Industrial Development with technical elements in nutrition, for the purposes of issuing Mexican official standards. (Art. 115)


For a description of the provisions on advertising, labeling, and school nutrition, see the specific amendments in the “Related Documents”.