Iodine status and availability of iodized salt: An across-country analysis
Authors: Horton, Sue; Miloff, Alexander
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 2, June 2010 , pp. 214-220(7)
Abstract:Background. Iodine deficiency has serious consequences, and the Universal Salt Iodization initiative has attempted to reduce the extent of deficiency. Objective. We aim to see how far across-country variations in urinary iodine in school-age children can be explained by environmental factors, particularly soil iodine and the availability of iodized salt. Methods. We use simple multivariate regression for two separate datasets, one for 30 developing countries, and one for 13 developed countries, using data on availability of iodized salt and soil iodine levels. Results. Median urinary iodine excretion is significantly and positively related to household availability of iodized salt (elasticity, 0.73) for developing countries, but the soil coefficient is not significant, probably because the dummy variable is not well measured. For the developed countries, there is a positive and significant effect of salt penetration rates (elasticity, 0.83) and a positive and significant effect of soil iodine (elasticity, 0.77). There is also a suggestion that countries with more serious soil deficits are more likely to iodize salt, so that univariate regressions of urinary iodine excretion on salt availability or penetration rates underestimate the beneficial effects of iodized salt availability on iodine nutrition. Conclusions. There are limitations to cross-sectional (ecologic) studies such as this, and the data are not perfect. Nevertheless, the results provide support for policies to iodize salt, given the widespread deficiency of iodine in diets worldwide.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2010-06-01
- Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in association with the United Nations University. 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 2011 Impact Factor: 1.922
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