Iodized salt usage up by 20 percent in rural households: StudyApril 25th, 2011 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Use of iodized salt has increased by 20 percent in rural households, a study released Monday said, reflecting the success of India’s iodine programme.
The study done by Micronutrient Initiative, an international not-for-profit organisation, under the guidance of the Indian government’s Salt Commissioner’s Office, said at present 47.3 percent of rural households are using ‘adequately iodized’ salt.
This is against the figure of 27 percent recorded in the national family health survey 2005-06.
“India is one of the countries which have accepted iodine deficiency as a national public health problem and resolved to ensure provision of iodized salt to its population,” Salt Commissioner of the country S. Sundaresan said after releasing the report.
According to a statement from Micronutrient International, Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) is the leading cause of mental retardation worldwide.
“Children born in iodine deficient areas have an average of 13.5l percent lower intelligence quotient (IQ) compared with children born in iodine sufficient areas. It is a significant public health problem; every year 13 million children are born in India unprotected from brain damage caused by iodine deficiency. It is estimated that 200 million people in India are exposed to the risk of IDD and more than 71 million suffer from goitre and other forms of IDD,” the statement said.
The study collected samples from over 9,600 households across 960 clusters in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
The study also showed that 57 percent of the rural population preferred packaged crushed salt compared to the loose or rock salt.
“India is one of the few Asian countries which has recognized the importance of addressing iodine deficiency diseases by supplying iodized salt,” Micronutrient Initiative regional director for India Melanie Galvin said.
“Mirroring the rapid growth of all sectors in India, the last five years have also seen rapid growth in the production and capacities of salt,” she said.
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