Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 215–221 | Cite as

The Iodine Status of Queensland Preschool Children After the Introduction of Mandatory Iodine Fortification in Bread: An Exploratory Study Using a Convenience Sample

  • A. J. SamiduraiEmail author
  • R. S. Ware
  • P. S. W. Davies


Introduction Appropriate dietary iodine is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis, especially in young children. Following an iodine fortification in bread initiative, approximately 6 % of Australian preschool children were expected to have an excessive iodine status. The aim of this study was to document the current iodine status of preschool children using urinary iodine concentration (UIC) as a biomarker of iodine intake. Methods A convenience sample of fifty-one preschool children, aged 2–3 years, were recruited from south east Queensland. UIC was ascertained from spot morning and afternoon urine samples collected on two consecutive days and food frequency questionnaires were completed for each participant. Dietary iodine intake was extrapolated from UIC assuming 90 % of dietary iodine is excreted in urine and a urine volume of 0.5 L/day. Results A median UIC of 223.3 μg/L was found. The calculated median dietary iodine intake was 124.8 μg/day (SD 47.0) with 9.8 % of samples above the upper level of 200 μg for dietary iodine for children within this age group. No foods were associated with UIC. Discussion Limited by sample size and recruitment strategies, no association was found between usual food intake and UIC. Extrapolated dietary iodine intake indicated that children within this cohort consumed adequate amounts of dietary iodine, although the number of children consuming above the upper limit of 300 μg/day was almost double of expected. The development of a UIC criteria to assess appropriate parameters for varying degrees of iodine status is required for the monitoring of iodine nutrition in this vulnerable age group.


Iodine Public health Child nutrition Food intake Micronutrients 


  1. Abbott, R. A., Macdonald, D., Stubbs, C. O., Lee, A. J., Harper, C., & Davies, P. S. W. (2008). Healthy Kids Queensland Survey 2006—Full report. Brisbane: Queensland Health.Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, M., de Benoist, B., Delange, F., & Zupan, J. (2007). Prevention and control of iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating women and in children less than 2 years old: Conclusions and recommendations of Technical Consultation. Public Health Nutrition, 10, 1606–1611.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013). 4364.0.55.007Australian Health Survey: Nutrition first resultsFoods and Nutrients, 201112 [Data file and code book]. Retrieve from
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013). SEIFA 2011 Socio-economic indexes for areas. Secondary SEIFA 2011 Socio-economic indexes for areas 2013 [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from
  5. Cobiac, L., Bowen, J., Burnett, J., & Syrette, J. (2008). 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey—Main findings. Canberra: Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation.Google Scholar
  6. Delange, F., Wolff, P., Gnat, D., Dramaix, M., Pilchen, M., & Vertongen, F. (2001). Iodine deficiency during infancy and early childhood in Belgium: Does it pose a risk to brain development? European Journal Pediatrics, 160, 251–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fenner, Y., Garland, S. M., Moore, E. E., Jayasinghe, Y., Fletcher, A., Tabrizi, S. N., et al. (2012). Web-based recruiting for health research using a social networking site: An exploratory study. Journal of Medical Internet Research,. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1978.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. (2008a). Consideration of mandatory fortification with iodine for Australia and New Zealand; Dietary intake assessment reportMain report. Canberra: Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
  9. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. (2008b). The 22nd Australian Total Diet Study. Canberra: Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
  10. Fuse, Y., Saito, N., & Tsuchiya, T. (2007). Smaller thyroid gland volume with high urinary iodine excretion in Japanese schoolchildren: Normative reference values in an iodine-sufficient area and comparison with the WHO/ICCIDD reference. Thyroid, 17, 145–155.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hurrell, R. (1997). Bioavailability of iodine. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51(Suppl), S912.Google Scholar
  12. Hynes, K. L., Blizzard, C. L., Venn, A. J., Dwyer, T., & Burgess, J. R. (2004). Persistent iodine deficiency in a cohort of Tasmanian school children: Associations with socio-economic status, geographical location and dietary factors. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 28, 476–481.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ingenbleek, Y., & Malvaux, P. (1974). Iodine balance studies in protein–calorie malnutiriton. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 49, 305–309.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. (2001) Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). doi: 10.17226/10026.
  15. Jaiswal, N., Melse-Boonstra, A., Sharma, S. K., Srinivasan, K., & Zimmermann, M. B. (2015). The iodized salt programme in Bangalore, India provides adequate iodine intakes in pregnant women and more-than-adequate iodine intakes in their children. Public Health Nutrition, 18, 403–413. doi: 10.1017/S136898001400055X.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Johner, S. A., Thamm, M., Nöthlings, U., & Remer, T. (2013). Iodine status in preschool children and evaluation of major dietary iodine sources: A German experience. European Journal of Nutrition, 52, 1711–1719.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee, J., Kim, J. H., Lee, S. Y., & Lee, J. H. (2013). Iodine status in Korean preschool children as determined by urinary iodine excretion. European Journal of Nutrition, 53, 683–688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Li, M., Eastman, C. J., Waite, K. V., Ma, G., Zacharin, M. R., Topliss, D. J., et al. (2006). Are Australian children iodine deficient? Result of the Australian National Iodine Nutrition Study. Medical Journal of Australia, 184, 165–169.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Mackerras, D. E., Singh, G. R., & Eastman, C. J. (2011). Iodine status of Aboriginal teenagers in the Darwin region before mandatory iodine fortification of bread. Medical Journal of Australia, 194, 126–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Malvaux, P., Beckers, C., & De Visscher, M. (1968). Iodine balance studies in nongoitrous children in adolescents on low ioidne intake. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 29, 79–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. National Health and Medical Research Council. (2005). Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand: Including recommended dietary intakes. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  22. Ohashi, T., Yamaki, M., Pandav, C. S., Karmarkar, M. G., & Irie, M. (2000). Simple microplate method for determination of urinary iodine. Clinical Chemistry, 46, 529–536.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Rasmussen, L. B., Ovesen, L., Jorgensen, T., & Knudsen, N. (2001). Evaluation of semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to estimate iodine intake. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 55, 287–292.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Samidurai, A. J., Ware, R. S., & Davies, P. S. W. (2015). Advantages of collecting multiple urinary iodine concentrations when assessing iodine status of a population. Acta Paediatrica,. doi: 10.1111/apa.13168.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Serra-Majem, L., Pfrimer, K., Doreste-Alonso, J., Ribas-Barba, L., Sánchez-Villegas, A., Ortiz-Andrellucchi, A., et al. (2009). Dietary assessment methods for intakes of iron, calcium, selenium, zinc and iodine. British Journal of Nutrition, 102(Suppl. S1), S38–S55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Skeaff, S. A., Ferguson, E. L., McKenzie, J. E., Valeix, P., Gibson, R. S., & Thomson, C. D. (2005). Are breast-fed infants and toddlers in New Zealand at risk of iodine deficiency? Nutrition, 21, 325–331.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Skeaff, S., Zhao, Y., Gibson, R., Makrides, M., & Zhou, S. J. (2012). Iodine status in pre-school children prior to mandatory iodine fortification in Australia. Maternal and Child Nutrition,. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2012.00419.x.Google Scholar
  28. Soldin, O. P. (2002). Controversies in urinary iodine determinations. Clinical Biochemistry, 35, 575–579.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Valeix, P., Preziosi, P., Rossignol, C., Farnier, M. A., & Hercberg, S. (1994). Relationship between urinary iodine concentration and hearing capacity in children. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48, 54–59.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), & International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD). (2007). Assessment of iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination. A guide for programme managers (3rd ed.). Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  31. Zimmermann, M. B. (2009). Iodine deficiency. Endocrine Reviews,. doi: 10.1210/er.2009-0011.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s Nutrition Research Centre, Child Health Research CentreThe University of QueenslandHerstonAustralia
  2. 2.School of MedicineThe University of QueenslandHerstonAustralia
  3. 3.Child Health Research Centre, School of MedicineThe University of QueenslandHerstonAustralia
  4. 4.Queensland Children’s Medical Research InstituteHerstonAustralia
  5. 5.School of Public HealthThe University of QueenslandHerstonAustralia

Personalised recommendations