The Biggest Loser comes to Ararat

ARARAT

- The hit television show The Biggest Loser could whip an entire town into shape in season nine - and that town might be Ararat.

Not only could residents lose the fat, Ararat could also lose the tag it infamously received after a report came out in 2012 claiming 59 percent of residents were overweight or obese.

In an exciting coup for the Ararat region, and a positive move for Ararat residents struggling with their weight, Channel Ten's The Biggest Loser is looking to cast Ararat Rural City people.

With a shortened casting period, producers have just two weeks to find between 100 and 150 candidates from which to choose contestants for the program, some of which will be filmed in Ararat and the surrounding area.

Residents of Ararat Rural City and its smaller communities and farming areas who have a weight problem and believe the show could help them lose the fat once and for all, but who are also willing to go on that journey in front of a television audience and believe they have a story, must apply immediately.

This a once in a lifetime opportunity and the community of Ararat is urged to get behind the program.

With season eight currently in production, executive producer of The Biggest Loser Stuart Clark said in looking for a theme for season nine a change was needed.

"The Biggest Loser is more than just a television show, it's a social movement and it has a social conscience," he said.

"The series we're doing currently tackles one of Australia's biggest health issues which is generational obesity, if your parents are obese there's an 80 percent more chance that you will be obese.

So we're tackling that this series, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and breaking that cycle so their grandchildren and children no longer have that obesity issue.

"Another huge health issue facing Australia is the obesity problem in rural and regional areas.

When the production company started to research the issue and talk to people in the country it found many towns and in particular the councils leading these towns had buried their heads in the sand, even going so far as denying there was an obesity issue.

"But then we spoke to the Mayor of Ararat and it was a breath of fresh air," he said.

"The town had been made aware of the (obesity) issue and embraced the need for change.

"They don't want the labels of the fat town or 'Arafat', they don't want that, they want to show the rest of country Australia what you need to do to turn this around.

"With Council fully supporting the initiative, the clincher will be having enough people apply to be contestants.

"We are pretty confident the locals will get behind us, but it's a call to action, let's do it," he said.

"The good thing about country towns, having come from one myself, is they're full of characters."

Mr Clark said he needed these characters to come forward and say they were not only prepared to do this for the town but themselves.

"Biggest Loser is a life changing experience," Mr Clark said.

"The benefits are not just for people who come on the show, there are overall benefits for the town in terms of wanting to lower the average weight of the town, lower the incidence of diabetes and heart issues, increase life expectancy and median life age. We change the stats.

"Ararat could go from being one of most obese towns in Australia to one of the fittest and that's the legacy they (the contestants) can provide."

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