* (out of four)
When the body mass index (BMI) attaches the “overweight” tag to LeBron James--who’s made up of approximately 1 billion percent muscle—clearly the form of measurement has a bug in its system. Documentarian Darryl Roberts, who began his career in Chicago radio, is right about that.
With “The Thin Commandments,” his follow-up to the 2008 doc “America the Beautiful” that told us what we already knew about our country’s fixation on physical appearance, Roberts gets everything else wrong. Largely because he can’t prove his point: Roberts condemns the CDC for releasing inaccurate information about the number of deaths caused by obesity, yet he provides numbers of his own without sources and trusts the statistics of people with no expertise in the field, as long as they support his position. That stance, mostly, is that people shouldn’t worry so much about being thin. Few would disagree that the world focuses too strongly on a svelte figure as a symbol of strength and intelligence and attractiveness. Yet Roberts also dismisses doctors that recognize how many people suffer from health problems as a result of being overweight and only talks to larger people who insist they’re in perfect health. Everyone knows that some people can thrive at 300 pounds, and some can’t; genetics and many other factors make us all different, but Roberts wants to make a blanket statement as if we’re all the same.