Knowledge, Practice, And Consumption Pattern Of Dietary Salt Among Adolescent Females - A Cross-Sectional Survey

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Carmel Punitha S , Amirtha Vaishnavi K , Aamina M , Ramya R and Venkatesan S


The human body requires iodine for normal growth and function. Over the years, iodine intake has been continuously low, causing iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in developing countries like India. The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) program to combat IDD. Our study aimed to assess the knowledge, practices and consumption patterns of salt among adolescent females in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  In this survey, we included 200 participants, 100 from school and 100 from college. The data was collected through a face-to-face interview using a random sampling method. A Chi-square test was employed to compare the responses of the two student groups. The results showed that less than one-fourth of the participants were aware of the RDA of salt (21.5%) and IDD (18%). More than half of the participants were familiar with the health risks associated with increased salt consumption (66%). More than half of the total participants (52%) used iodized table salt, and their reason for salt consumption was mainly its taste-enhancing property (68%). A significant proportion of the participants (67%) preferred to store salt in plastic containers and reported adding salt in between cooking (69%). This survey has revealed the inadequate knowledge of the respondents about the RDA of salt and IDD. The reason for salt intake, storage method, and time of salt added to food exposed their poor practice and consumption patterns. Implementing educational programs in schools and colleges is highly recommended to impart proper knowledge on salt handling and consumption patterns. 

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