HomeAboutusEditorial BoardCurrent issuearchivesSearch articlesInstructions for authorsSubscription detailsAdvertise

  Login  | Users online: 412

   Ahead of print articles    Bookmark this page Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font size Increase font size  

LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 368-369

Consumption of iodized salt among slum households of North-East Delhi, India

Urban Health Resource Center (UHRC), B-7/122A, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Date of Submission21-Oct-2008
Date of Acceptance03-Jun-2009
Date of Web Publication17-Dec-2009

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Agarwal
Urban Health Resource Center (UHRC), B-7/122A, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi - 110 029
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.58406

Rights and Permissions


How to cite this article:
Agarwal S, Sethi V, Sharma D, Vaid M, Agnihotri A, Sindhwani A, Patra P. Consumption of iodized salt among slum households of North-East Delhi, India. Indian J Community Med 2009;34:368-9

How to cite this URL:
Agarwal S, Sethi V, Sharma D, Vaid M, Agnihotri A, Sindhwani A, Patra P. Consumption of iodized salt among slum households of North-East Delhi, India. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2009 [cited 2021 Mar 5];34:368-9. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2009/34/4/368/58406


We conducted a household-based cross-sectional study in a purposively selected slum (population: 70 000) of North-East Delhi in August, 2008. The respondents comprised 230 adult females who were involved in cooking food. The sample size of 230 was derived using the following parameters: 50% prevalence, 95% confidence interval, ± 10% confidence interval width, design effect of one, and 5% non-response rate. As no prior estimates of levels of consumption of iodized salt in the studied slum were available, we assumed 50% prevalence. The slum, being large and heterogeneous, was divided into 10 strata. The 10 strata were also the 10 catchment areas of the ASHA workers. Twenty-three respondents were identified in each strata using systematic random sampling methodology.

Using a pre-tested interview schedule, the following aspects were enquired from the respondents - background characteristics, type of cooking salt that they predominantly use; reasons for the same and awareness about the benefits of iodized salt. Iodine content of the cooking salt consumed was tested using a rapid iodine field-testing kit using similar standard procedures, used in the Third National Family Health Survey. [1]

Most (209) households consumed packed refined salt. Only 21 households consumed unpacked crystalline salt (nonpowdered: 19; powdered: 2). The various reasons reported by households consuming crystalline salt (21) included 'low cost' (8), 'since it tasted better' (9) and 'feeling it is pure and uncontaminated unlike refined salt' (4). The value in parenthesis indicates the number of households. Out of those households consuming refined salt (209), 130 consumed it to save time and avoid the inconvenience of grinding crystalline salt, but opted for cheaper varieties owing to low purchasing power. Other reasons reported for consuming refined salt were as follows: better taste and appearance (45), free flowing (24), and influence of television advertisements (10).

A total of 174 out of 230 households were consuming adequately iodized salt (≥15 ppm iodine) [Table 1]. Awareness about health benefits of iodized salt was extremely poor and seen in only 15 out of 230 respondents. Yet on the positive side, all 15 households who were aware of the benefits of consumption of iodized salt were consuming adequately iodized salt. Consumption of adequately iodized salt was higher among households consuming refined salt as compared to those consuming crystalline salt. However, even among households consuming refined salt (209), 36 households were consuming inadequately/non-iodized salt (<15 ppm iodine). Also, consumption of adequately iodized salt was higher in households where the household head was literate.

Three important findings emerged from this study. Although three-fourth households of a north-east Delhi slum were consuming adequately iodized salt, the level of awareness regarding the benefits of consuming iodized salt among the studied population was extremely low. Even among those households consuming refined salt, nearly one-fifth households were not consuming adequately iodized salt. Studies carried out between 2002 and 2004 in Delhi have shown that 64-66% households consume iodized salt. [2],[3] Thus, more pursuant efforts need to be made to generate awareness about the health benefits of iodized salt and to enhance demand and availability of iodized salt. Continued dialogue by state-level Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Control Cell with salt producers and traders and their periodic monitoring would increase production and market availability of adequately iodized salt. Regular community-based awareness activities on the benefits of iodized salt can be conducted through Anganwadi workers, auxillary nurse midwives, nongovernment organizations, self-help groups, and schools. Iodized salt is available at subsidized rate through Targeted Public Distribution System in Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura, and Karnataka. [4] Delhi State Government could consider this option to increase the access of iodized salt to the slum population of Delhi.

   References Top

1.International Institute of Population Sciences and Macro International. National Family Health Survey-3, 2005-06: India. Volume I. Mumbai: International Institute of Population Sciences; 2007. Available from: http://www.iipsindia.org/nfhs2.html. [last accessed on 2008 Oct 1].  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Kapil U, Sethi V, Goindi G, Pathak P, Singh P. Elimination of iodine deficiency disorders in Delhi. Indian J Pediatr 2004;71:211-2.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
3.Singh A. Urinary iodine excretion patterns among pregnant women from urban slums of Faridabad - a study. [M.Sc. Thesis]. [Delhi]: Delhi University. Department of Home Science, Institute of Home Economics; 2002.   Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Atego EA, Sankar R, Schultink W. Pushing in the right direction- steady progress in the control of IDD in India. IDD newsletter 2005;21(4):1-4. Available from: http://www.iccidd.org/media/IDD%20Newsletter/1991-2006/v21n4_1105.pdf. [Last accessed on 2009 Mar 25].  Back to cited text no. 4      


  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Factors Associated with Urinary Iodine Concentration among Women of Reproductive Age, 20–49 Years Old, in Tanzania: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Djibril M Ba,Paddy Ssentongo,Muzi Na,Kristen H Kjerulff,Guodong Liu,Ping Du,Won Song,John P Richie,Xiang Gao
Current Developments in Nutrition. 2020; 4(5)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Status of iodine in rural pregnant women of different trimesters in Lucknow -A cross-sectional study
Sugandha Jauhari,Monica Agarwal,Wahid Ali,V.K. Singh,M. Tasleem
Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health. 2020; 8(4): 1195
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Non-iodized salt consumption among women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa: a population-based study
Djibril M Ba,Paddy Ssentongo,Duanping Liao,Ping Du,Kristen H Kjerulff
Public Health Nutrition. 2020; 23(15): 2759
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Iodized salt consumption in Sudan: Present status and future directions
Mahfouz, M.S. and Gaffar, A.M. and Bani, I.A.
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition. 2012; 30(4): 431-438
5 Consumption of iodized salt among households of Basra city, South Iraq [Consommation de sel iodé des ménages de la ville de Bassora (sud de læIraq)]
Ebrahim, S.M. and Muhammed, N.K.
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 2012; 18(9): 980-984


Print this article  Email this article


    Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (347 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded128    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 5    

Recommend this journal

  Sitemap | What's New | Feedback | Copyright and Disclaimer
  © 2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007