The Problem Iodine Deficiency. More than 3.5 billion people today are malnourished--that’s roughly than half the world’s population. These people suffer from an array of preventable health problems because they lack access to vital micronutrients in their daily diet. Iodine is a micronutrient crucial for bone and brain development. However around two billion people--nearly a third of the world’s population--get too little iodine in their food. This can lead to increased rates of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant mortality, as well as cognitive and developmental problems, stunting, cretinism, goiter, and hypothyroidism. Iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the world. Much progress has already been made. The number of iodine deficient countries was reduced from 54 in 2003 to 32 in 2011. Yet despite many years of global universal salt iodization efforts, about 30 percent of households in the developing world are still iodine deficient. New models are needed to ensure full and sustained coverage.