Iodine Deficiency in the UK
A research study on iodine intakes in the UK published by the British Thyroid Association (BTA) in 2011 found that over 20% of a sample population of 14-15-year-old girls in the UK were iodine-deficient. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation iodine-deficient communities have IQs up to 13.5 points lower than similar but iodine-sufficient communities. The World Health Organisation has made iodine deficiency a global priority and has been campaigning for at-risk countries to add iodine to their salt. The UK does not require salt producers to do this, but the Scientific Advisory Council on Nutrition (SACN) has conducted a scoping review of the evidence on iodine status in the UK and is currently discussing a position paper on it. This meeting gave members an opportunity to hear from two of the key experts working in this policy area: Dr Alison Tedstone, Head of Nutrition Science at the Department of Health, who has been involved in the on-going discussions at SACN about iodine deficiency in the UK; and Professor John Lazarus, the Regional Coordinator West and Central Europe of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders Network.
Prof John Lazarus presentation (1,245k)