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Efficacy of educational intervention to improve awareness of the importance of iodine, use of iodized salt, and dietary iodine intake in northeastern Italian schoolchildren

Watutantrige-Fernando, Sara, Barollo, Susi, Bertazza, Loris, Cavedon, Elisabetta, Censi, Simona, Manso, Jacopo, Vianello, Federica, Mian, Caterina
Nutrition 2018 v.53 pp. 134-139
boys, disease control, eating habits, education programs, girls, iodine, iodized salt, milk, questionnaires, school children, urine
An educational program was conducted among school-aged children to improve their knowledge about iodine prophylaxis, their iodine status, and their dietary habits.At the baseline (T0) and after 6 mo (T1), participants (970 at T0 and 949 at T1) answered questionnaires testing their knowledge about iodine prophylaxis and their eating habits. Urine samples were collected from a randomly selected subgroup of participants (313 at T0 and 312 at T1).From T0 to T1 there was a significant improvement in respondents' knowledge about iodine prophylaxis (from 44% to 70%), iodized salt consumption (from 78% to 84%), and median urine iodine concentrations (from 70 µg/L to 91 µg/L). Milk and iodized salt intakes were associated with a better iodine status per se, and more so when used simultaneously. Girls drank milk less often than boys did (daily in 52% and 59% of cases, respectively). Children of foreign origin ate sodium-rich food more often than Italians did.Educational intervention improved the children's knowledge about iodine prophylaxis and use of iodized salt. Consuming salt in addition to milk improves iodine status. Children of foreign origin have different eating habits.