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Iowa has Wide Racial Disparties and a High Rate of Childhood Obesity


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Iowa and the Midwest have some of the starkest disparities in racial equality in the country.  A new report from the Iowa Policy Project found patterns of segregation and discrimination are pervasive, impacting employment, homeownership, and school test scores and suspensions.

State Representative Ras Smith from Waterloo says he’s very aware of these disparities, but he feels many white Iowans are not.

Honestly, I think sometimes in our Midwest mindset of being very neighborly people, it really sometimes serves to kind of cloud our…perspective or our view to see things as really what they are.

To counteract inequality, Smith says acknowledgment is the first step, followed by structural changes to society.

A report from last year named Waterloo-Cedar Falls as the worst metro area in the country for black Americans.

And a new report America found African-American and Latino youth in addition to kids in low-income families are most like to be affected by obesity.

In Iowa, more than 16 percent of children are obese, that’s the latest from a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

This is slightly above the national average of 15.3 percent.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a major overhaul to a longstanding rule that regulates lead in drinking water. 

The proposed changes to the 1991 “Lead and Copper Rule” would require water systems with lead at or above 10 parts per billion to make improvements to get the lead out of their water. 

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