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Current Affairs

Iodised salt coverage Survey

Date: 10 September 2019 Tags: Reports & Indices

Issue

Tamil Nadu has the lowest consumption of iodised salt despite being the third biggest producer of salt in the country, according to a first-of-its-kind national survey to measure the coverage of iodised salt.

 

Background

The survey was conducted by Nutrition International in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Indian Coalition for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD).

 

Details

  • The survey tested the iodine content in samples of cooking salt from households to estimate the coverage of iodised salt.

  • The study shows that 76.3% of Indian households consumed adequately iodised salt, which is salt with at least 15 parts per million of iodine.

  • The five worst performers were Tamil Nadu (61.9%), Andhra Pradesh (63.9%), Rajasthan (65.5%), Odisha (65.8%) and Jharkhand (68.8%).

  • Gujarat produces 71% of salt in the country, followed by Rajasthan at 17% and Tamil Nadu at 11%. The rest of the country accounts for a mere 1% of salt produced.

  • The northeastern States are doing very well with respect to iodised salt consumption at the household level because of the distance they have from the three salt producing centres .This salt is strictly monitored by the Salt Commissioner’s office to  if it is inadequately iodised, and then allowed for sale.

  • Rajastathan, being the second biggest salt producing state, features in the top-5 worst performing states.

 

Extra reading

  • India made fortification of salt with iodine mandatory for direct human consumption in 1992. This was relaxed in 2000 and then reimposed in 2005.

  • The key recommendation of the study is to sustain the momentum so that iodine coverage does not fall below current levels.

Iodine Importance

  • Iodine is a vital micro-nutrient for optimal mental and physical development of human beings.

  • Deficiency of iodine can result in a range of disabilities and disorders such as goitre, hypothyroidism, cretinism, abortion, still births, 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.