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Isr J Health Policy Res ; 11(1): 18, 2022 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793819


BACKGROUND: Adequate iodine intake is essential for human health, for normal thyroid function, and for attainment of full intellectual potential in children. In light of Israel's lack of a mandatory salt fortification policy, heavy reliance on desalination and low iodine intake from dairy products and seafood, there is concern in Israel that the population is iodine deficient. Indeed, the first Israeli National Iodine Survey in 2016 found a median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) of 83 µg/L among school age children, falling below the WHO's adequacy range of 100-299 µg/L for children. METHODS: In the framework of the National Human Biomonitoring Program in Israel, spot urine samples and questionnaire data were collected from 166 healthy children aged 4-12 years in 2020-2021. Urinary iodine concentrations were measured at the Ministry of Health National Biomonitoring Laboratory, using mass spectrometry. An international comparison of median urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) was performed taking into consideration the levels of desalinated water per capita, and fortification policies. RESULTS: The overall median (interquartile range [IQR]) UIC was 80.1 µg/L (44.7-130.8 µg/L) indicating that the population's iodine status has not improved in the five years that have passed since inadequacy was first identified. When comparing 13 countries with population size above 150,000, whose desalinated water per capita was at least 1 m3, Israel and Lebanon were the only countries with median UIC below the WHO adequacy range. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need for mandatory salt fortification in Israel. Based on our international comparison, we conclude that the potential impact of desalination on iodine intake can be compensated for using the implementation of salt fortification policy. This study highlights the critical need for public health surveillance of nutritional and environmental exposures using human biomonitoring, with emphasis on vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children.

Biological Monitoring , Iodine , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Food, Fortified , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Pregnancy
Obes Rev ; 22 Suppl 6: e13215, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1553950


Establishment of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) has resulted in a surveillance system which provides regular, reliable, timely, and accurate data on children's weight status-through standardized measurement of bodyweight and height-in the WHO European Region. Additional data on dietary intake, physical activity, sedentary behavior, family background, and school environments are collected in several countries. In total, 45 countries in the European Region have participated in COSI. The first five data collection rounds, between 2007 and 2021, yielded measured anthropometric data on over 1.3 million children. In COSI, data are collected according to a common protocol, using standardized instruments and procedures. The systematic collection and analysis of these data enables intercountry comparisons and reveals differences in the prevalence of childhood thinness, overweight, normal weight, and obesity between and within populations. Furthermore, it facilitates investigation of the relationship between overweight, obesity, and potential risk or protective factors and improves the understanding of the development of overweight and obesity in European primary-school children in order to support appropriate and effective policy responses.

Pediatric Obesity , Child , Exercise , Humans , Overweight , Pediatric Obesity/epidemiology , Prevalence , Schools , World Health Organization