Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) produced by the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency impairs thyroid hormone production and has adverse effects throughout life, particularly early in life as it impairs cognition and growth. Iodine deficiency remains a significant problem despite major national and international efforts to increase iodine intake, primarily through the voluntary or mandatory iodization of salt. Recent epidemiological data suggest that iodine deficiency is an emerging issue in industrialized countries, previously thought of as iodine-sufficient. International efforts to control iodine deficiency are slowing, and reaching the third of the worldwide population that remains deficient poses major challenges.