Food group intakes as determinants of iodine status among US adult population

Kyung Won Lee, Dayeon Shin, Mi Sook Cho, Won O. Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Adequate intake of iodine is essential for proper thyroid function. Although dietary reference intakes for iodine have been established, iodine intake cannot be estimated due to the lack of data on iodine contents in foods. We aimed to determine if food group intakes can predict iodine status assessed by urinary iodine concentration (UIC) from spot urine samples of 5967 US adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2012. From an in-person 24-h dietary recall, all foods consumed were aggregated into 12 main food groups using the individual food code of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA); dairy products, meat/poultry, fish/seaweed, eggs, legumes/nuts/seeds, breads, other grain products, fruits, vegetables, fats/oils, sugars/sweets, and beverages. Chi-square test, Spearman correlation, and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to investigate the predictability of food group intakes in iodine status assessed by UIC. From the multiple linear regressions, the consumption of dairy products, eggs, and breads, and iodine-containing supplement use were positively associated with UIC, whereas beverage consumption was negatively associated with UIC. Among various food group intakes, dairy product intake was the most important determinant of iodine status in both US men and women. Subpopulation groups with a high risk of iodine deficiency may need nutritional education regarding the consumption of dairy products, eggs, and breads to maintain an adequate iodine status. Efforts toward a better understanding of iodine content in each food and a continued monitoring of iodine status within US adults are both warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number325
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Food group intake
  • Iodine status
  • National health and nutrition examination survey
  • Urinary iodine concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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