Open Access Thirty years of a ban on the sale of noniodized salt: Impact on iodine nutrition in children in Himachal Pradesh, India

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Background. A survey conducted by the central iodine-deficiency disorders team in Himachal Pradesh, a state in the goiter-endemic belt of India, revealed that 10 of its 12 districts have an endemic prevalence of goiter. The survey was conducted to provide health program managers data to determine whether it would be necessary to initiate intervention measures.

Objective. To assess the status of urinary iodine excretion and household salt iodization levels after three decades of a complete ban on the sale of noniodized salt in this goiter-endemic state in India as measured by assessment of urinary iodine excretion levels and iodine content of salt at the household level.

Methods. The guidelines recommended by WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD for a rapid assessment of salt iodization were adopted. In each of the 12 studied districts, all senior secondary schools were enlisted and one school was selected by using a random sampling procedure. Two hundred fifty children 11 to 18 years of age were included in the study. Urine samples were collected from a minimum of 170 children and analyzed using the wet digestion method. Salt samples were also collected from a minimum of 170 children and analyzed using the spot testing kit.

Results. All districts had a median urinary iodine excretion level > 200 g/L and 82% of the families were consuming salt with an iodine content of 15 ppm or higher.

Conclusions. The results of the present study highlight the successful implementation of the salt iodization program in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This positive impact may be due to the comprehensive strategy adopted by the state government to improve the quality of salt, development of an effective monitoring information system and effective information, education, and communication activities.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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