Iodine knowledge is positively associated with dietary iodine intake among women of childbearing age in the UK and Ireland

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Abstract

An adequate iodine intake is important pre-conception and during pregnancy for optimal infant neurodevelopment. Recent studies have highlighted the prevalence of iodine deficiency in the UK and Ireland. It is possible that optimal iodine intake may be impeded by a poor knowledge of iodine nutrition. This study aimed to investigate iodine knowledge among women of childbearing age in the UK and Ireland and to determine if a relationship exists between iodine knowledge and dietary iodine intake. Females (aged 18-45 years) were invited to participate in an online questionnaire which assessed knowledge of iodine and estimated dietary iodine intake using a food frequency questionnaire. A total of 520 females of childbearing age completed the study. Iodine knowledge was poor; only one third (32%) of participants correctly identified pregnancy as the most important stage of the lifecycle for iodine and 41% of participants could not correctly identify any health problem related to iodine deficiency. Median daily iodine intake was estimated as 152µg/d. Almost half (46%) of participants failed to meet dietary recommendations (140µg/d) for iodine. A higher dietary iodine intake was positively associated with greater iodine knowledge (r=0.107; P=0.016). This study suggests that knowledge of iodine nutrition is low among women of childbearing age and those with a greater knowledge of iodine had a higher dietary iodine intake. Initiatives to educate women of childbearing age on the importance of iodine nutrition should be considered as part of a larger public health strategy to address iodine deficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1728-1735
Number of pages7
JournalBRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION
Volume116
Issue number10
Early online date18 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Iodine: Iodine knowledge: Women of childbearing age: Dietary iodine intake

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