What is the AIHW’s role?

The AIHW identified key baseline data for monitoring the population health effects of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification in Australia and New Zealand. This was published in a baseline and supplement report in 2011.

In 2015–2016 the Australian Government Department of Health managed an independent review of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification. The 3 phases of the review assessed:

  • industry and enforcement agency compliance
  • population health impacts of mandatory fortification
  • the effectiveness of the mandatory fortification.

In this more recent review, the AIHW was responsible for the second phase.

AIHW report

The AIHW report Monitoring the health impacts of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification presents data on the health impacts of mandatory fortification. The report uses a monitoring framework with five main components:

  • food composition and food industry compliance
  • nutrient intake
  • nutrient status
  • health benefits
  • adverse health effects.

The tables above (tables 1, 2 and 3) summarise the report’s key findings.


  1. Ministry for Primary Industries 2016. Mandatory iodine fortification in New Zealand: Supplement to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016 report—Monitoring the health impacts of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification. Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries. Viewed 28 June 2016.
  2. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2014. Folate. Canberra: NHMRC. Viewed 24 March 2016.
  3. Li M, Eastman C, Waite K, Ma G, Zacharin M, Topliss D et al. 2006. Are Australian children iodine deficient? Results of the Australian National Iodine Study. Medical Journal of Australia 184(4):165–9.
  4. Ministry of Health 2003. NZ Food NZ Children: Key results of the 2002 National Children's Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.