Park City, Utah, June 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iodine deficiency disorders affect over 20 percent of the world’s population and are a leading cause of thyroid conditions such as goiters as well as childhood developmental issues, reducing IQ by as much as 15 points. Almost 100 years ago the salt industry began fortifying salt with iodine to help end iodine deficiency disorders once and for all. Today, iodizing salt is a standard practice the world over. This was the subject of three separate sessions at the 2018 World Salt Symposium this week in Park City, Utah.

 

Iodine deficiency is still a major concern in the developing world. In a moving story highlighting the drastic health situation in Haiti, speakers discussed recent efforts by the Haitian Ministry of Health to completely eradicate iodine deficiency disorders by 2020. Other sessions on iodized salt addressed successful efforts in China and Pakistan to prevent iodine deficiency disorders.

 

The panel, sponsored by Kiwanis International, focused on the use of salt fortified with iodine to avoid these easily preventable conditions. Kiwanis International, a worldwide service organization in more than 82 nations and geographic regions, partnered with UNICEF and ICCIDD (now Iodine Global Network) in a global effort to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). Since 1990, and over a ten-year period, the percentage of the world population consuming iodized salt increased from an estimated 20 percent to 70 percent. Kiwanis provided nearly $105 million to protect children from preventable mental and physical disabilities.

 

“There is no reward greater in life than helping children, and seeing them live healthy, vibrant lives,” said Stan D. Soderstrom, executive director of Kiwanis International. “Our clubs and members understand the importance of helping children in their communities, and in communities around the world, and have proudly contributed to protecting more than 80 million children from the devastating effects of iodine deficiency.”   

 

Roland Kupka, Senior Adviser for Micronutrients at UNICEF, said “The nutrients a child receives in the earliest years of life influence their brain development for life, and can make or break their chance of a prosperous future. By protecting and supporting children’s development in early life, we are able to achieve immense results for children throughout their lifespan.”

 

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The Salt Institute is a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition.

 

About Kiwanis International

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14–18, Builders Club for students age 11–14, K-Kids for students age 6–12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, annually dedicate more than 18.5 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 558,000 adult and youth members 82 nations and geographic areas. Visit www.kiwanis.org for more information.  

Jorge Amselle
Salt Institute
703-896-0131
jorge@saltinstitute.org