Parent or not, I am one of those here in the US that doesn't have insurance. There are millions of us in this country alone who don't have it, or have extremely inadequate insurance.
The thing is that if you care about yourself or your child [if you are a parent], you have to get curious. Period. Many people in the younger generations is this country have gotten used to things, including information, handed to them. They're virtually helpless in digging things up on their own. Then they whine when something happens, like they get overweight, or their child is morbidly obese at 3, and blame everything else, and expect to be coddled and listened to. We've created a society of whinybaby adults. Blame so-and-so, never take the blame and take action. I'm slightly overweight... by about 35-40 pounds... I don't blame anyone but myself. I stopped dancing at 22 or 23 and just didn't really take up any other strenuous exercise to conpensate... started sitting on my arse and gaining the pounds. I don't blame the candy makers or anyone in society but myself. I'm slowly losing weight now... but only because I'm watching more of what I eat and how much of it I eat. You want to know how I learn about food and eating properly? it's two-fold: my mother raised us to eat right... while still letting us have our junk food in small amounts (weekly trips to a local convenience store for the candy aisle and a slurpee/slushee), and my own curiosity. I read, I pick up magazines and read. I have books on nutrition. I have books on health. I ASK my doctor, even if I'm going in for something else, I ask her about general stuff. My last visit was about my headaches... I talked to her about my parent's health and how my mother has apparently recently had a couple mini-strokes... I asked her if those can affect her memory, sine she has slight Alzheimers... she answered my questions, not padding them to reassure me of anything. A doctor will play nice and talk down to you ONLY if you let him or her. She knows I'm smart, and that I can handle it.
On the flip side of that, I don't go in as often as I probably should. She's never done the general exam. Because i can't afford the tests... last summer, I sprained my ankle pretty badly. I was more concerned, while sitting there surrounded by security officers at the place I was temping, with how I was going to pay the ER bill if I went. I even called my dad to ask if I should go and how would we deal with the medical bills. And no, the ***hole agency I was temping for emphatically told me they had no Worker's Comp. Insurance (which I can now tell you is very likely a lie... all companies are required to hold either WC or Private Ins... they just didn't want to do what is required of them by law... jerks) so I never went to physical therapy, I paid out of pocket to the ER, ER Doc, Ambulance, my doctor, and the Orthopedic Doc. totalling somewhere over a 1000 bucks... for one sprain... at least the crutches were 'free.' if I'd had insurance, or the company had used their worker's comp, I wouldn't have had to pay anything out of pocket.
But you know what? I'm probably more informed about my health than a lot of Americans out there. If I don't know something, I check online to see what I can do. If it's something bigger, I call my doctor. She listened to my seemingly crazy idea that my worst headaches are related to wonky female hormones... she listened and said it's very possible. So we're trying a method that doesn't involve thousands of dollars in tests and such. She gave me samples of a couple meds, and we're testing my theory. So far, so good.
I'm not in the medical profession. never have, and have no desire to be. But I know what to eat and not to eat... to listen to my body and know when something is wrong. I educate myself, try to get answers to questions. I get curious. Most adults in this country stopped being so curious as they 'matured' but it hasn't helped matters. i don't know everything. but I know enough to get by and get healthy. I keep learning and asking. we've become too complacent in the US. No, i'm not a parent, but I do care about the kids out there. I want to see them grow up to be healthy, smart adults... not die from obesity-related illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes before they have the chance to reach adulthood.
I'm gonna get off my soapbox now... as you can tell, I'm pretty passionate about this, among other things. I also write a LOT. Hell, maybe I *should* become a lawyer. Hmm... children's advocacy (with doing animal's rights on the side...)