Tamil Nadu ranks lowest in coverage of iodised salt

3 min read

News:The national survey to measure the coverage of iodized salt has been released.

Facts:

  • The survey was conducted by Nutrition International in collaboration with the AIIMS and the Indian Coalition for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders(ICCIDD).
  • The survey tested the iodine content in samples of cooking salt from households to estimate the coverage of iodised salt in 29 States and 7 Union Territories in India.

Findings of the survey:

  • The survey has found that the national average for household coverage is 76.3% which means 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, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Jharkhand.
  • The north-eastern 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 states.
  • Further, 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 survey also revealed that 13 out of 36 States have already achieved Universal Salt Iodisation or have 90% of households with access to adequately iodised salt.

Recommendations:

  • The study has recommended to sustain the momentum so that iodine coverage does not fall below current levels.
  • It has also recommended that the States and the Centre need to work together to address the current gaps and look into issues that vary from one state to another, in order to produce adequately iodized salt.

Additional information:

About Iodine:

  • Iodine is a vital micro-nutrient for optimal mental and physical development of human beings.
  • The 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.
  • India made fortification of salt with iodine mandatory for direct human consumption in 1992. This was relaxed in 2000 and then reimposed in 2005.
  • In 2011, the Supreme Court too had mandated universal iodisation for the control of iodine deficiencies.