Laudan Aron

Laudan Aron is a senior fellow in the Urban Institute's Labor, Human Services and Population center.


Teen sex - yes, let's talk about it

By Laudan Aron and Janine Zweig  ::  February 12th, 2015

A bill introduced last week by Senators Kaine and McCaskill would require that health education in public secondary schools cover “safe relationship behavior” aimed at preventing dating violence and abuse, stalking, harassment, and sexual assault. Currently, there are no federal requirements to teach sexual assault prevention in schools. The introduction of the Teach Safe Relationships Act […]

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To gauge the health of your whole community, look to your teens

By Laudan Aron  ::  November 18th, 2014

Last week, I shared a starter list of principles that can help guide health-promoting community investments. That list was inspired by a large and growing body of research on the social determinants of health: conditions within our families, neighborhoods, and communities that shape our health and survival. That same body of research points to an important […]

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childhood-obesity (1)

Guiding principles for community investments that promote health

By Laudan Aron  ::  November 7th, 2014

Thankfully, the profound connections between healthy human development and the social and economic conditions of our daily lives are starting to gain more widespread recognition and attention. The November issue of Health Affairs is devoted to how social services and community supports improve people’s health. One intriguing article examines measures of neighborhood opportunities that are conducive […]

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Eric Garner's death is about much more than a police choke hold

By Laudan Aron  ::  August 8th, 2014

    Last week, the New York City Medical Examiner ruled that Eric Garner died on July 17 as a result of a choke hold by a police officer. In other words, Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, even though his health conditions—including asthma, heart disease, and obesity—were found to be “contributing factors.” The confrontation with […]

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What really accounts for how long we'll live?

By Laudan Aron  ::  March 21st, 2014

  Last Sunday, the New York Times business section featured a powerful and long overdue piece about the social determinants of health. In the article, Annie Lowrey compares two communities—Fairfax County in Northern Virginia and McDowell County in West Virginia—and shows how far apart they are on virtually every measure of economic and social well-being […]

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Women's Health: A key link to understanding the US health disadvantage?

By Laudan Aron  ::  January 3rd, 2014

Last week, Wonkblog asked some “interesting, important and influential thinkers” to name their favorite graph of 2013. It was a thrill to learn that Emily Oster, an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School, picked a figure from a study that I directed at the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute […]

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Can strengthening the economy both reduce inequality and increase economic mobility?

By Laudan Aron  ::  December 19th, 2013

  President Obama has joined many pundits (see, for instance, Ezra Klein) in a growing national discussion about how to tackle two important and worrying trends within the United States – growing income inequality and declining social mobility. Yet these are not the same goals. In a recent discussion between EJ Dionne of the Washington […]

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Americans are in poor health, but what’s really ailing us?

By Laudan Aron  ::  November 20th, 2013

    This morning the US Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) is holding a hearing called “Dying Young: Why Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence in America.” Is there much evidence for this provocative and alarming title? Sadly, the answer is a decisive “yes.” Earlier this year, I […]

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Despite fifty years of improvements in infant mortality, large black-white gap remains unchanged

By Laudan Aron  ::  August 26th, 2013

[Negro Americans] must march from the cemeteries where our young and our newborns die three times sooner and our parents die seven years earlier. They must march from there to established health and welfare centers. – National Urban League Director Whitney Young, August 28, 1963 It is hard to believe that after half a century of […]

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