From the NY Times:
"Almost one-third of the world’s people don’t get enough iodine from food and water. The result in extreme cases is large goiters that swell their necks, or other obvious impairments such as dwarfism or cretinism. But far more common is mental slowness.
When a pregnant woman doesn’t have enough iodine in her body, her child may suffer irreversible brain damage and could have an I.Q. that is 10 to 15 points lower than it would otherwise be. An educated guess is that iodine deficiency results in a needless loss of more than 1 billion I.Q. points around the world."
Ok, so what's the solution?
It seems that our friend and neighbor to the north, Canada, is spearheading something called the MicroNutrient Initiative. This worthy organization "is dedicated to ensuring that the world's most vulnerable-especially women and children in developing countries-get the vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive."
And their efforts seem to be gaining ground...
"One of the attractions is that a campaign to iodize salt costs only 2 cents to 3 cents per person reached per year.
“We are spending very little, but the benefit is enormous,” said Dr. Khawaja Masuood Ahmed, an official of the Micronutrient Initiative here. “We’re preventing people from becoming mentally retarded.”Indeed, The Lancet, the British medical journal, reported last month that “Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide.”"
Thanks to you, Nicholas D. Kristof for the great information.
Iodized table salt can make a massive difference globally. It's marvy to be aware of it.
Here's the original piece.