Publication Details

Charlton, K., Yeatman, H., Lucas, C., Axford, S., Gemming, L., Houweling, F., Goodfellow, A. & Ma, G. 2012, 'Poor knowledge and practices related to iodine nutrition during pregnancy and lactation in Australian women: pre-and post-iodine fortification', Nutrients, vol. 4, no. 9, pp. 1317-1327.


A before-after review was undertaken to assess whether knowledge and practices related to iodine nutrition, supplementation and fortification has improved in Australian women since the introduction of mandatory iodine fortification in 2009. Surveys of pregnant (n = 139) and non-pregnant (n = 75) women in 2007-2008 are compared with surveys of pregnant (n = 147) and lactating women (n = 60) one to two years post-fortification in a regional area of New South Wales, Australia. A self-administered questionnaire was completed and dietary intake of iodine was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. A generally poor knowledge about the role and sources of iodine in the diet remained after fortification. Post-fortification, iodine-containing supplements were being taken by 60% (up from 20% pre-fortification) and 45% of pregnant and lactating women, respectively. Dairy foods were the highest contributors to dietary iodine intake (57%-62%). A low intake of fish and seafood resulted in this food group contributing only 3%-8% of total intake. A low level of public awareness regarding the role of iodine in health supports the need for public health strategies in addition to fortification, such as an accompanying consumer education campaign, increased uptake of supplementation, and on-going monitoring.



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