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Easter and iodized salt: What is in common?

23 April 2011, on the eve of Easter, a two meter high Easter cake baked in Kiev was consecrated of in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Giant Easter cake, will be included to Ukraine Book of Records. To bake masterpiece it took over 300 kg of flour, 1000 eggs, 80 kg of raisins, 100 kg sugar, 10 kg of iodized salt and 100 liters of holy water.
UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), whose representatives participated in the presentation of the cake, welcomed the use of iodized salt in baking.

"This is a very good example of socially responsible business and innovative approach to bread baking. We hope that religious people who came on holiday, can enjoy Easter cake, convinced that the bread with iodized salt is delicious, it is useful and use of the salt has no effect on product quality ", - said Elena Trush, nutrition officer in UNICEF Ukraine.

Iodine deficiency can cause increased thyroid gland iodine deficiency impeding intellectual and physical development. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Russia halted production of iodized salt. UNICEF tirelessly reminds of the vital importance of iodine intake for better health of the nation.

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Editor’s note: Ukraine is located in the zone of natural iodine deficiency. It is preconditioned by low iodine content in soil and water and consequently – in locally produced food products, including plants, meat and milk of animals fed on these plants. Currently iodine deficiency affects at least 73% of Ukrainian population.
Daily deficit of several dozen micrograms of iodine in nutrition may lead to irreversible developmental disorders and malfunction of human organism. Iodine deficiency is particularly dangerous for mental and intellectual abilities and consequently – for person’s success in life.

In conditions of iodine deficiency the number cases of mental retardation in the general population doubles, while the rate of intellectual may drop by 10-15 points.
Even light iodine deficiency in a pregnant woman hampers the development of baby’s genetically inherent intellectual potential. Serious iodine deficiency in pregnant women may lead to births of babies with cretinism.
If current situation persists, Ukraine will have to open one or two school annually for children with reduced mental development. Intellectual potential that Ukraine already loses annually to iodine deficiency would be enough to bring up 3,000 geniuses. At the same time, it is incredibly easy to avoid these problems: we just need to consume iodized salt instead of the regular one.

Switzerland as we know it is one of the most developed countries of the world and tenth country on the planet in terms of population’s average IQ level. However, about a century ago mental retardation as a result of natural iodine deficiency was the norm for Swiss: up to 90% of residents in some cantons were mentally retarded.

Elimination of the natural iodine deficiency by means of mass use of iodized salt was the vehicle of the country’s development. Current maps of sustained absence of iodine deficiency and high levels of country’s development coincide.

About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 190 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997.

For further information please contact: Olena Trush, Nutrition Officer, UNICEF Ukraine, tel:  + 38.044.254.2450, e-mail: otrush@unicef.org

 

 
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