By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
“(The center) has one of the best weight-management programs in the world and promotes and advances a comprehensive approach to overall wellness, which is an equally important process,” J.D. Roth, executive producer, said in a statement.
The show documents the 365-day transformation of “super-obese people” and is expected to start airing in May of 2014.
James O. Hill, executive director for the center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said the producers previously filmed in California and wanted a change. They found the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and made the first contact in December.
“They found us. It was out of the blue,” Hill said. “From the first time they saw our building, they were awed. We’re ecstatic.”
Hill said the center will tap the show’s popularity by creating programs for extremely obese people and could become a destination weight-loss center.
“This is not my bailiwick. I’m an academic. But we’re hoping (the show) will allow people to see us, take a look and find out that what we’re offering really works,” Hill said. “This is extreme, but we have six other programs that are less extreme.
“They recognized our expertise in treating obesity. We don’t just dabble in it. We have the very best people in the country. We have the best programs in the country.”
Already, Hill said potential cast members auditioning for the show spent three weeks at the center. They underwent extensive medical testing including a physical exam, blood work and an evaluation of their metabolism, body mass and body composition. Experts at the center gave each participant a personalized wellness report aimed at giving them insight into their physical and metabolic fitness, diet and nutrition, sleep, stress and quality of life.
Filming begins again next week.
“We’re pretty excited. Everybody felt like it was really great. Our folks made them feel at home,” Hill said. “It’s fun having them around. They’re so motivated.”
“Extreme Weight Loss” host, trainer and “transformation specialist,” Chris Powell, will work alongside Dr. Holly Wyatt, medical director for the center and leader of a team of registered dieticians and fitness experts who will assist the show’s participants in losing as much as half of their body weight.
“Supporting people who are committed to significant weight-loss is my passion and the focus of my life and career,” said Wyatt. “I admire the courage and desire it takes to make this transformation. It’s hard to lose weight, even harder to keep it off over time and I look forward to being involved in every step of their journey.”
The participants will spend the first 90 days of their weight-loss journeys at the center. It will be their home-away-from-home to work for nutritional education, personal training and fitness classes.