Are you overweight? There's a very good chance that the National Institute of Health (NIH) might consider you obese. That's because in 1998 it lowered the threshold from 28 to 25 on the Body-Mass Index (BMI) index.
In "America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments," director Darryl Roberts suggests that the NIH's redefinition could be the result of lobbying from pharmaceuticals and the $50 billion dieting industry. After all, there's a lot of money to be made if millions of healthy Americans are made to think that their weight is dangerous.
This is the case that he makes while crisscrossing the country in search of some answers. Along the way, Darryl surrenders his body to the cause, allowing doctors to monitor his vital signs intermittently while he tries to reverse his high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation via a combination of exercise and a variety of popular fad diets.
By the end of the film, he does manage to shed enough pounds to arrive at normal readings, all without adopting the daily regimen of prescription pills his physician had been pressuring him to follow. Interestingly, Darryl achieved his goal of health but not the sort of sculpted figure you see in the typical "After" picture in weight-loss ads, which leads to the logical conclusion that dieting campaigns aimed at impressionable young minds probably have precious little to do with sensible nutrition.
It all amounts to an important reminder about the value of being able to accept yourself just the way you are without succumbing to the societal pressure to measure up to an unattainable, ideal body-type.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 100 minutes
Distributor: Harley Boy Entertainment / PMK*BNC
See a trailer here