ABOUT 250 people attended a public launch of The Biggest Loser: Challenge Australia in Ararat's Alexandra Gardens.
Season nine of Channel Ten's reality television program debuted on Sunday night.
The season nine debut drew in 753,000 viewers, according to OzTam preliminary metro ratings.
Ararat Rural City Mayor Paul Hooper said the program had generated a strong sense of community in residents looking to shake off the demeaning tags of 'Arafat' and 'Fatarat', which have plagued the municipality dubbed the state's fattest in 2011.
Cr Hooper said people participated in aerobics and stretching activities at the launch, along with walking laps of the lake.
He said two of the show's contestants attended the public premiere.
Cr Hooper said residents' activity levels had increased since February last year, when Ararat was chosen as the location for series nine.
"There's no doubt there has been a significant change, not just in fitness but also in terms of supporting each other," he said.