The other day I was reading a few articles on’s Health section and came across something about the “The Thin Commandments.”  I had never heard of this before so naturally I was intrigued.  The CNN article was an interview with Darryl Roberts, the documentary filmmaker, behind “America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments.”  After reading through that, I started researching more about the idea behind the documentary (let it be known that I love documentaries, especially ones about health topics). 

Apparently, the documentary is based on the premise that America has a health problem and not a weight problem.  Roberts isn’t trying to downplay the obesity epidemic, but rather, is saying that we aren’t using the right tools and following best practices to battle the underlying health problem our country is facing.

For example, Roberts believes that the BMI scale should not be used at all.  If solely looking at BMI, Roberts, along with popular athletes and movie stars, is obese.  From what I read, he believes that the BMI scale is incorrect and misleading, and a lot of people are getting rich off of this.

He believes that by making better choices and exercising, we can improve our health and not have to worry so much about the number on the scale.

Based on the trailer, the documentary also raises points about body image and America’s obsession with being thin. 

I don’t know if I’ll agree with all the points in this documentary, but the one thing I definitely agree with is that the word “healthy” is subjective.  Personally, I know very thin people who have health problems, and I also know heavier people who’s doctors have given them a clean bill of health.  And really, who am I to judge someone based on his/her weight (or anything really). 

And trust me, I’m not trying to discount the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, but I do think that if we collectively redefined the word healthy, a lot of the problems and health issues we are facing right now would start to decrease.  And again, I’m not going to lie and say that the only reason I work out is to maintain my health stats.  Part of the reason I workout and eat the way I do is because I strive to be thin and fit.  And I think it’s ok to want that as long as the plan to get there is taking into consideration all the different factors that make up good health – not just the number on the scale. 

Have you seen this documentary?  What are you thoughts?  Do you use your BMI to help gauge how healthy you are?

By Parita

0 thoughts on ““The Thin Commandments’””
  1. Healthy is absolutely subjective and I never have really used BMI to tell me my health status. It’s a combination of so many other things like weight, fitness level, general feeling, etc.

    Great topic 🙂

  2. Great post, very thought-provoking! You know my feelings towards the scale- while I do think it can be a useful measure, I don’t think the numbers/BMI paint an honest picture of what ‘good health’ is. I have friends with kick-ass bodies but given the sh1t they put in their body, I really wouldn’t want to trade! I love that you wrote “Part of the reason I workout and eat the way I do is because I strive to be thin and fit.”–> I feel like it has become a taboo in the blog world to say that part of the reason we live our life the way we do is because of weight! I am right there with you, my friend!

  3. I haven’t seen this documentary, but I’d be really interested in seeing it! I completely agree that while BMI can be a good rough estimate, it definitely isn’t the best tool. We’ve talked a lot about that in my nutrition classes. Most experts say that waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio is a much better indicator of health!

  4. Interesting! I’m putting this documentary on my must-watch list. I’ve never really read/heard much criticism of the BMI scale up until now – I guess I’ve always sort of bought into it. I do think that weight is never an accurate indication of health though, especially with those who are considered “slim” but have terrible eating habits. I applaud you for bringing to light that you work out to stay thin and fit – Khushboo’s right, it has become taboo which is silly. We all want to look good, plain and simple!

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