Schoolgirls have dangerously low level of iodine, which could put their future children at risk, a new survey has revealed. Researchers say the lack of iodine could be because the consumption of milk has plummeted in the last few years, reports the Daily Mail.
The survey, published in The Lancet Medical Journal, looked at girls aged 14-15 years from nine schools in the UK. After analysing the urine samples of 700 girls, researchers found that two-thirds were deficient in iodine.
Lack of iodine in pregnancy can lead to serious mental health issues and learning difficulties in babies.
“Mild iodine deficiency impairs cognition in children, and moderate to severe deficiency in a population reduces IQ by 10-15 points,” said Dr Mark Vanderpump, who lead the survey.
Researchers hope that the UK will follow the lead of countries like the US and Switzerland, where iodine is added to salt to help combat the deficiency.