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Relation of consumption of iodized salt and processed foods and iodine status in 6-12years old children and lactating mothers: A case study.


Marina B. Vargas,
Mildred O. Guirindola,
Zenaida S. Isada,
Rhea C. Benavides,
Martha C. Alquillera,
Wilma L. Molano,
Corazon M. Cerdena

Related Institution

Food and Nutrition Research Institute

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Publication Information

Publication Type
Research Report
Publication Sub Type


BACKGROUND: The 2003 National Nutrition Survey results showed a general improvement in the iodine status of population groups in the Philippines. Although the number of iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) cases may have been decreasing, there are concerns that a significant proportion of the population may be consuming high levels of iodine as reflected from their high median urinary iodine excretion (UIE), which may have adverse effects such as hyperthyroidism among the population. These findings have stimulated discussions on whether or not it is necessary to review the current levels of iodine in the iodized salt at the point of production and consumption.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to establish the empirical basis for the discussions on whether or not there is a need to modify the standards set for iodine at the point of production and consumption, by examining the salt intake of the selected population groups (school-age children and lactating women) from all sources, particularly from household salt and from processed, and the relationship between salt consumption and iodine status.

METHODS: A total of 160 children, six to 12 years old and 120 lactating mothers were included in the study. The sample size estimates were calculated based from unmatched case-control design. Study sites were 4 barangays in Taguig City and 5 barangays from different municipalities of Laguna province. Information on consumption of processed foods was collected through face-to-face interviews using standard pre-tested questionnaires. An inventory of household salt and salty condiments was done by weighing the beginning and ending inventory of these condiments in a day, and the per capita consumption consumption of of household salt and salty condiments was determined by dividing the total household consumption of salt and salty condiments was by the number of persons who partook the foods prepared and served in the household. The per capita consumption of household salt and salty condiments was assumed to be the subject's intake of household salt and salty condiments. Around 100 grams household salt placed in sealed container was also collected for analysis of iodine level using WYD iodine checker. Fifteen (15) ml of urine samples were collected from sampled subjects for UIE analysis.

RESULTS: Subject children in Taguig City and Laguna have median UIE values of 262 ug/L and 228 ug/L, respectively, and only 3.7% and 1.2% had UIE less than 50 ug/L. Among lactating mothers, the median UIE value in Taguig City, which is 221 ug/L, is higher than in Laguna with 185.5 ug/L. The children and lactating mothers in the two study sites have relatively low total salt intake amounting to 4-5 grams per capita per day. Majority of the subject children and lactating mothers in the two sites have iodine level of salt below 15 ppm. More than or close to half of the study population in both study sites may be consuming high level of iodine as evident from their high UIE levels (≥200 ug/L). High UIE level was observed at 19 ppm to 26 ppm iodine level of household salt for both study population and study sites.

CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS: The high proportion of study children and lactating mothers with median UIE ≥ 200 ug/L even at low salt intakes supports the concern regarding the possible high level of iodization of salt. Further studies are recommended to confirm results obtained. There is also a need to review the method of urinary iodine determination from the collection to transport to storage of sample to analysis.

Physical Location

LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Library PCHRD SP 447 Fulltext Print Format

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