These plant-based 'power foods' work like weight loss drugs, nutrition expert says

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Full shelves with fruits are pictured in a supermarket during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2020. —Reuters
Full shelves with fruits are pictured in a supermarket during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2020. —Reuters

With obesity affecting nearly 1 billion people worldwide, the World Obesity Federation aims to address the global crisis on World Obesity Day tomorrow (Monday), the South China Morning Post reported. 

The surge in obesity rates is alarming, evident in Hong Kong, where 32.6% of adults are now classified as obese, according to the Department of Health's Population Health Survey 2020-22.

Professor Alice Kong from the Chinese University of Hong Kong warns that obesity is linked to increased risks of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, joint problems, and premature death. 

As the economic burden grows, the World Obesity Atlas 2023 projects a significant rise in healthcare expenditures related to overweight individuals in China alone.

American nutrition researcher Dr Neal Barnard, in his upcoming book, "The Power Foods Diet," introduces a breakthrough plan that mimics the effects of weight-loss medications like Wegovy and Ozempic but without side effects. 

Barnard emphasises a low-fat, plant-based diet as an effective, affordable, and side-effect-free solution for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Barnard identifies "power foods" with attributes such as appetite suppression, trapping calories, and boosting metabolism. Berries, green vegetables, melons, citrus fruits, and legumes fall into this category. Cinnamon, ginger, and hot peppers also show weight-loss effects.

Encouraging a three-week trial, Barnard's book provides a simple-to-follow meal plan and over 120 plant-based recipes. He cautions against fad diets, calorie restriction, and the misconception of avoiding carbohydrates. 

Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and stress management are highlighted as crucial components in combating obesity and achieving sustainable weight loss.