DAGUPAN CITY, June 5 — The National Nutrition Council (NNC) has advised every household to use iodized salt in their diets.
NNC Nutrition Program Coordinator Victoria N. Mañez reported that children one to five years old in Region 1 ranks fifth in the use of iodized salt in their meals.
This rank, which is relatively high compared to other regions, constitute 80 percent of the target, she said during the second regular meeting of the Regional Organization of Nutrition Development Advocates (RONDA) here last Thursday.
The region, however, ranks lower in other age groups and among pregnant women.
Nutrition Expert Rose Lulu P. Pagaduan said about 26 percent of pregnant women in the region do not have the proper amount of iodine in their bodies.
Glenn John C. Khonghun, president of Salinas Foods, an iodized salt manufacturer, said iodine helps in the proper mental development of young children and reduce the chance of acquiring goiter among adults.
Khonghun, representing the private sector, introduced the FIDEL (Fortification for Iodine Deficiency Elimination) iodized salt into the market in 1993.
“We need to strengthen the iodization of salts. Much salt from the region are not being iodized,” Mañez stressed.
Mañez identified the iodization of salt as the most significant concern of the NNC in the region.
Noting that iodine evaporates easily, Khonghun advised adding iodized salt into the mix near the end of stages of cooking or, better yet, when it is ready to be served.
Both Mañez and Khonghun agreed that the lack of awareness regarding the benefits of iodized salt keep households from using it, and
information dissemination campaign is needed. (ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)