Fighting Fire with Fire – Part 1

Australia has a long history of dealing with summer forest fires. We’re all very familiar with the devastating affect fires have on our countryside, our flora and fauna, our homes, our lively-hoods and the terrible loss of lives that occurs on far too many occasions. But we’re a hardy and resourceful country which is continually looking toward new methods and technologies to tackle this seasonal threat.

Controlled burning is a method of reducing the impact of fires and their devastation. Reducing the fuel which fires need to spread just makes sense, essentially, fighting fire with fire. At first glance and to anyone unfamiliar with the practice, it would seem lunacy to willingly burn away areas of the countryside, but these ‘controlled’ burn-offs work to reduce the risk of damage when faced with an ‘uncontrolled’ forest fire.

The strategy is certainly effective but requires skill, the right tools and continued maintenance to work effectively. So fighting fire with fire does work, quite literally. Not surprisingly, this old adage and has been applied to a countless number of endeavours as a means to solve a problem head on.

In that regard, we’ve employed its use, at least in kind, as one of our key strategies. Our Fighting Fire with Fire strategy fights an even more destruction condition that is having a terrible effect on our nation’s health – Childhood and Adult obesity. We are not alone in that respect, a woeful number of first world countries are in similarly dire health conditions which has given rise to a phrase used more commonly everyday – ‘Globesity’.

This catastrophe, and I don’t use the word lightly, is fuelled by many factors: overindulgence in fast foods,  little to no food education in our homes or schools, inadequate and inconsistent schools PE curriculum, poor  meal and food selections, gigantic meal portion sizes, misleading food product labelling (low fat often equals high sugar), an  increase in sedentary screen time in front of the TV, PC and games console and disenchantment with existing traditional exercise and sports habits and options – there are many more contributors. That is a depressing list but it serves to highlight some of the reasons behind this epidemic.

I truly wish I was exaggerating, I certainly don’t wish  to sensationalise the situation anymore than countless media reports have already done so. Let’s be brutally honest, we’ve all heard and read these statistics ourselves, we know the situation is critical yet people seem powerless to do anything about it. As a result I believe many of us have become desensitised to the problem, it just seems too overwhelming. Fortunately, we don’t feel that way, far from being overwhelmed, we’ve decided to act and do something about the situation now! The contents of this website and the people that make up Exergaming Australia, our partners and our networks, will explain exactly how we plan to go about becoming part of the solution.

A key component in that solution is in applying our own version of Fighting Fire with Fire. Our strategy is applied directly toward the physical activity and exercise casualties in the obesity crisis, and we are not alone in doing so. A global network of researchers, clinicians, innovators, developers from the private and public sectors are equally passionate about finding solutions which utilize some of the ingredients that fuel this fire, and we applaud them for being so bold. We will continue to work with them daily to become more relevant and to bring these bold solutions to the wider public asap.

So how does our strategy work? Part 2 will explain all 🙂

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