WITH Global Iodine Deficiency Day observed on October 21 each year, Tata Salt, pioneers of the salt iodisation movement in India, today reiterated the need for increased awareness on the importance of iodine in the diet and steps for tackling iodine deficiency. Given the low awareness levels on the importance of iodine in the diet, Tata Salt has taken up the task to spread awareness among the masses which is a step towards making our country healthy. The brand has collaborated with traditional and new age media to create awareness and establish the importance of Iodine through an innovative idea – “The Missing I.”
Deficiency of iodine can lead to a multitude of health disorders such as goitre, hypothyroidism, miscarriage, stillbirth, congenital anomalies, infant and neonatal mortality, and impaired growth. Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation. Iodine deficiency causes irreparable damage to the developing brain and is especially damaging during the early stages of pregnancy and in early childhood. It can cause a vast spectrum of mental disorders and loss of intellectual capacity.
Salt is known to be an effective micronutrient carrier, therefore making iodised food grade salt one of the easiest ways of supplementing one’s diet with this vital nutrient. In 1992 Government of India took the historic decision of mandating salt iodisation for all states of India meant for direct human consumption. In partnership with national governments, iodised salt producers, civil society organizations bilateral and international agencies, the efforts of Iodine Global Network has led to increases in global household coverage of adequately iodised salt from 55% in 2000 to 87% in 2017.
Commenting on this, Dr Chandrakant S Pandav, alumni at AIIMS, New Delhi and presently a member of National Council on India Nutrition Challenges under Poshan Abhiyan, said, “A pinch of iodised salt can give us freedom from preventable brain damage as we continue on our journey to become a healthy nation. Universal salt iodization, WHO’s preferred strategy for the elimination of IDD, results in saving 1.5 billion IQ points in children globally every year. Let us as a country take a pledge to ensure daily consumption of adequately iodised salt for a healthy mind and body,”
Richa Arora, COO, Consumer Products Business, Tata Chemicals Ltd., further added, “We are committed to catalysing the nation free of Iodine deficiency disorders, and making India healthy. Tata Salt played a key role in the iodisation movement in the country by launching India’s first branded iodised salt. Tata Salt’s genesis was in serving a national need, and we are proud that we continue to stay true to our motto of ‘Desh ki Sehat, Desh ka Namak’. Through our range of offerings, we continue our efforts towards providing health-enabled salts to combat micronutrient deficiencies.”