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Adequate Iodine Status in New Zealand School Children Post-Fortification of Bread with Iodised Salt

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 298;
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 16 May 2016
PDF [225 KB, uploaded 16 May 2016]


Iodine deficiency re-emerged in New Zealand in the 1990s, prompting the mandatory fortification of bread with iodised salt from 2009. This study aimed to determine the iodine status of New Zealand children when the fortification of bread was well established. A cross-sectional survey of children aged 8–10 years was conducted in the cities of Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, from March to May 2015. Children provided a spot urine sample for the determination of urinary iodine concentration (UIC), a fingerpick blood sample for Thyroglobulin (Tg) concentration, and completed a questionnaire ascertaining socio-demographic information that also included an iodine-specific food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The FFQ was used to estimate iodine intake from all main food sources including bread and iodised salt. The median UIC for all children (n = 415) was 116 μg/L (females 106 μg/L, males 131 μg/L) indicative of adequate iodine status according to the World Health Organisation (WHO, i.e., median UIC of 100–199 μg/L). The median Tg concentration was 8.7 μg/L, which was <10 μg/L confirming adequate iodine status. There was a significant difference in UIC by sex (p = 0.001) and ethnicity (p = 0.006). The mean iodine intake from the food-only model was 65 μg/day. Bread contributed 51% of total iodine intake in the food-only model, providing a mean iodine intake of 35 μg/day. The mean iodine intake from the food-plus-iodised salt model was 101 μg/day. In conclusion, the results of this study confirm that the iodine status in New Zealand school children is now adequate. View Full-Text
Keywords: iodine; iodised salt; fortification; deficiency; children; New Zealand iodine; iodised salt; fortification; deficiency; children; New Zealand
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jones, E.; McLean, R.; Davies, B.; Hawkins, R.; Meiklejohn, E.; Ma, Z.F.; Skeaff, S. Adequate Iodine Status in New Zealand School Children Post-Fortification of Bread with Iodised Salt. Nutrients 2016, 8, 298.

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