Australian iodine deficiency must be corrected

Despite clear evidence that iodine improves cognition and that deficiency exists in Australian women and children, Australians are still unaware of this national public health concern. It is well established that Australian children are iodine deficient and that pregnant women are only getting about half their recommended dietary intake (RDI) of iodine, according to Cres Eastman, Professor at Sydney Medical School and Asia Pacific regional co-ordinator for the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. “The evidence is clear cut about iodine deficiency – it is the commonest global cause of mental defect and loss of IQ,” he says. Professor Eastman recently argued that intellectual ability was partly to blame for the poor academic performance of Australian children in the recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Rather being a consequence of poor teaching or classroom size, Australia’s poor academic performance can be directly attributed, in part, to iodine deficiency, he says.

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