Massey University’s School of Food and Nutrition Master’s student Jacqui Finlayson’s interest in New Zealand’s iodine situation has ignited research investigating the iodine levels of Kiwi women who choose to avoid bread.
"In 2009, to address iodine deficiency in New Zealand, the Government introduced the mandatory addition of iodised salt to all bread except organic. However, if you don’t eat bread regularly as part of your diet, then the effect of this fortification doesn’t reach everyone."
Because mid-life women are more vulnerable to thyroid dysfunction, Ms Finlayson’s study chose this as the target group. The Women, Bread and Iodine Study, nicknamed the WOMBI study, is currently underway and more participants are needed.
"To date no other study investigating iodine levels of mid-life women who avoid bread has been undertaken in New Zealand. Effects of low iodine levels are not always obvious and are not routinely tested for. Already I have noticed that even knowledge about dietary sources of iodine is lacking and I want to raise awareness through my research," Ms Finlayson says.
"By taking part in this study you will be contributing to the health, wellbeing and knowledge for the women of New Zealand while also learning valuable information about your own dietary sources and intake of iodine."
Study participants must be mid-life women (40-65 years) living in the Auckland region who restrict bread from their diet.