Social policy and advocacy


Monitoring the situation of children and women

Social policy analysis


Salt Iodization

A lack of sufficient iodine in the diet can cause iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the world’s leading cause of preventable mental retardation and impaired psychomotor development in young children. The resulting impaired mental growth and development can also lead to poor school performance, reduced intellectual ability and impaired work performance. IDD also increases the risks of stillbirth and miscarriage in pregnant women.

The indicator

Household access to iodized salt: percentage of households consuming adequately iodized salt (≥15 parts per million).

The World Health Organization’s target for this indicator is 90 per cent of households.

The survey results

Adequately iodized salt was found in only 70.9 per cent of households.

In the Northeast the use of adequately iodized salt was only 54 per cent, while in Bangkok it was 82.1 per cent.

Disparities exist in terms of consumption of adequately iodized salt between rich and poor households, with the level at 87.3 per cent in rich households and just 53.7 per cent in poor households. 

Opportunities for improvement

To help prevent IDD, iodized salt needs to be made more readily available, and sold at a lower cost. Continued iodine supplementation for women and for children under the age of three will help promote the development of babies and children. In addition, iodine enrichment of eggs and fish sauce in areas where salt is less commonly used should be ensured.




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