Nutrition International and partners disseminate results of India Iodine Survey 2018-19

Survey results show 76.3% of Indian households consume adequately iodised salt

Nutrition, India Iodine Survey, Indian households, New Delhi, Association for  Indian Coalition, Deficiency Disorders, Indian Coalition for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, ICCIDD, Kantar, India towards Universal Salt Iodisation, Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Niti Aayog, Asia, Andrew O’Connell, Mini Varghese, Vinod Paul

Nutrition International, a global nutrition organisation, conducted a country-wide study – INDIA IODINE SURVEY 2018-19 to estimate the iodine status of the population and assess the extent to which Indian households have access to adequately iodised salt.

The survey conducted in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Association for  Indian Coalition for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) and  Kantar, has shown that 76.3% of Indian households consumed adequately iodised salt which means salt with more than or equal to 15 parts per million (ppm) of iodine.

The results signify the progress made by India towards Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) which has a target of reaching 90% of the population with adequately iodised salt. The results also convey the need to step up the efforts to ensure all households consume adequately iodised salt while sustaining the gains achieved over years to protect everyone from the risk of Iodine Deficiency Disorders.

Iodine is a vital micronutrient needed regularly in small quantity for optimal mental and physical development in human beings. Deficiency of iodine can result in a range of disabilities and disorders such as goitre, hypothyroidism, cretinism, abortion, still-birth, mental retardation and psychomotor defects. Children born in iodine deficient areas may have up to 13.5 IQ points less than those born in iodine sufficient areas. 

A majority of these consequences are invisible and irreversible but can be prevented. Fortifying cooking salt with iodine is the easiest and most cost-effective way to address this problem. According to WHO guidelines, daily iodine intake of 150μg is required to prevent iodine deficiency disorders which can be achieved if household salt contains a minimum of 15 ppm of iodine.

The survey results were released by Dr Vinod Paul, Member (Health and Nutrition), NITI Aayog, Government of India along with Dr Chandrakant S Pandav, President, Association for Indian Coalition for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders & Former Professor & Head, Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Nutrition International Regional Director, Asia, Andrew O’Connell and Mini Varghese, Acting India Country Director, Nutrition International.

Dr Vinod Paul, Member (Health and Nutrition), NITI Aayog, Government of India, said, “India Iodine Survey, 2018-19 comes at a crucial time when the entire country is celebrating Poshan Maah. The results show that industry regulators, state and central government and other stakeholders have played a critical role in the success so far. It is now time for us to step up our efforts to achieve full USI by 2022. The survey is a very good effort to scientifically estimate the progress so far and we need to accelerate progress in states that are facing challenges. I would be happy to organise a meeting of the stakeholders and states at the NITI Aayog to take this discussion forward and devise a strategy to achieve USI by 2022.”

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