In August 2018 researchers from the UK published their review of current challenges with respect to combating iodine deficiency in the UK. They stated that iodine deficiency in women of childbearing age is a global public health concern, with iodine deficiency being widespread during pregnancy when iodine requirements increase. Over 120 countries have implemented various food fortification strategies and in addition, some countries have recommended iodine supplementation during pregnancy. The UK is listed as one of the ten countries with the lowest iodine status globally, with an estimated 60% of pregnant women not meeting WHO recommended intakes. Currently there is no mandatory iodine fortification of foods or recommendations for iodine supplementation during pregnancy, and individuals are therefore dependent on dietary sources of iodine. However, knowledge or awareness of iodine remains low. The richest sources of iodine are dairy products and seafood but currently iodine-rich foods only contribute about 13 % of the average energy intake of adult women.
Bouga M et al. Contemporary challenges to iodine status and nutrition: the role of foods, dietary recommendations, fortification and supplementation. Proc Nutr Soc. 2018 Aug;77(3):302-313.