Big Think just laid a big stinky.
Big Think is a YouTube channel that features four minute lectures by smart, cool people (like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Penn Jillette, for example), and some not so cool people. I usually can tell if I’m going to hate a video by the title, and I avoid those that I hate, but this video was called Big Think Mentor, which made me think of mentoring children, which sounded good.
I played it, and the first clip was a dude talking about how thin people can be unhealthy. That’s not a big shocker, and we in the fat rights community often like to point that out as well, to show how it’s unfair to demonize fatties as unhealthy. (It’s actually unfair to demonize fatties even if we’re unhealthy, but that’s another post.) The problem with this guy is he used the phrase “metabolically obese” for unhealthy thin people.
Using the word “obese” to indicate “unhealthy” isn’t big thinking, it’s prejudicial thinking. Someone who sees data showing that thin people can be unfit, and that fat people can be fit, and expressing that by saying (in essence) “thin people can be fat” is using existing prejudices to evoke an emotional reaction. “Gosh, I hate fat people, and I’m thin, but if I’m also unhealthy, that means I’m as bad as a fatty, so I’d better get healthy so I’m not so loathesome. Because better health isn’t enough of a motivating force.”
I guess the video is selling a computer program to help people live better, but if their motivating force is prejudice, I’m not buying.