ARARAT - Executive producer of The Biggest Loser Stuart Clark says he understands the challenges that people in country towns face and wants to show that to the rest of Australia when the hit television program comes to town.
Mr Clark has been making television for 35 years, while he has worked on the Biggest Loser for the past three seasons.
"There is only one reason I do what I do for a living and it is because I love it," he said.
"And I love the fact that the show I work on, The Biggest Loser, makes a difference to people's lives, makes a difference to families and hopefully as with Ararat it will make a different to a whole community."
Mr Clark answered a variety of questions put to him during a public meeting at the Ararat Performing Arts Centre last Wednesday night.
The following is a selection of the questions asked on the night:
Q: What events and ideas do you have for the town?
Stuart Clark: We are working very closely with the Council, East Grampians Health and VicHealth in ensuring that we are on the same page with their plans for a healthier Ararat. For example we have spoken about the Mother's Day fun run and we will be encouraging everyone in the town to come out to that event and there they can learn about nutrition.
Every time you come to an event there will be an opportunity to learn more and be healthier. There will be lots of events based around simple exercises, not everyone can afford to go to a gym and the reality is you don't need to. There are simple exercises that can help you lose weight that require no equipment.
If anyone in the town has any ideas on events as well, we'd love to hear from you.
Who can be involved in the activities held in Ararat?
The beauty is you don't have to be obese or have a weight issue to take part in what we do for the town. Everyone can be a part of it. If you have type two diabetes, if you've got high blood pressure, if you are horribly unfit, all of these things will be made available to every single person in this town to turn around and make a change.
How much filming will be done in Ararat?
It is hard to say, but somewhere between 10 to 20 percent. We will be filming in the town every week for three months and that will be a part of the show. It is all about transforming Ararat.
What is the actual geographical area you have to live in to be considered part of Ararat?
If you feel you are part of the Ararat community and you want to be involved you are more than welcome. We are not going to say because you live in Beaufort or whatever you can't be a part of it. If you are near the town and you want to audition and be a part of this, you can. The more people we can encourage to live the healthy lifestyle the better.
When do the contestants go into the house?
We will look to take them into the house somewhere within the first couple of weeks when we come to the town.
I have noticed on a couple of the other series that the contestants have been doing fairly physical things like pulling aeroplanes, trucks and trains. Have you got more diabolical stuff like that lined up?
We will always have diabolical stuff and crazy challenges every year! The reason we do that is because at the end of the day we have still got to make a show that people are going to watch. We have to build a certain amount of entertainment in it, but whilst doing that if it makes you fit, healthy and makes you reflect on who you are and who you need to be, then it is working towards that transformation.
What can you tell us about evidence behind the sustained weight loss outcome of the people that participate on the show?
On The Biggest Loser we have had 1500 people roughly, of that 600 have kept the weight off.
So that means 900 haven't, but that is still 10 times the statistics of any of these other weight loss programs, because the difference is we get into your head. You learn how to cook, learn how to eat and learn how to train. At the end of the day when you go back to your normal life, you have to have the mental strength to maintain that.