Saturday, December 16, 2006
Salt in Central Asia
There is a good article about getting iodine in salt in Central Asia in the New York Times. I was struck by the lobbyists who sprung up to challenge putting iodine in salt, which reportedly can eliminate iodine deficiencies. Iodine deficiencies in pregnant women, by the way, lower IQ points by 10-15% for their babies, and causes cretinism and dwarfism. The cost of the iodine added to a ton of salt is about $1.15, which in my opinion, is a pretty good deal for a 15 point gain in IQ. The article specifically mentions some work in Kazakhstan to convince people that iodized salt is good for you. It is funny, because the reporter mentioned that in Turkmenistan, the dictator in one fell swoop made non-iodized salt illegal, and gave away 11 pounds of iodized salt to every citizen every year. Sometimes even a dictator can do good.