Personal Information Form, First Use of


At a Glance


Diet Power uses the Personal Information Form to set up your records and your nutrient allowances. The form opens automatically when you enroll.





In Detail


On your first day with Diet Power, the program asks you to fill out the Personal Information Form so it can set up your files and begin understanding you as an individual. It asks your age and sex, for example, so it can estimate your calorie requirements until you've logged enough meals to reveal your actual needs. Many (but not all) of the choices you make on the form will remain in force indefinitely.


Filling Out the Form


Type the correct information in each box, using the Tab key to hop to the next. Then check off each special concern that applies to you ("I use tobacco," "I'm on a low-salt diet," etc.), by clicking the box beside it. When you've completed the form, click the OK button.


Here are particulars on the most important items:


First and Last Names


Fill these in as you'd like them to appear on Diet Power's printed reports. Two important notes:

  1. Don't use initials with periods. These may confuse the program.

  1. Once you've registered as a new user, your first name cannot be revisedit will always appear grayed out. That's because Diet Power uses your first name to help identify the subfolder where your personal records are kept, and if the program let you change the name, it would no longer be able to find your files. You can always revise your last name, however.



To keep other users from reading or inadvertently altering your personal records, type in a password. Write it down somewhere. Diet Power can't help you retrieve a forgotten password.


(You'll be able to change your password later, if you likebut you'll need your old password to get into the program to do that.)




Enter your height in your bare feet, expressed in feet and inches. Include fractions or decimals (whichever you prefer), since ideal weight is very sensitive to height.


If you haven't measured your height lately, do so now. Out of wishful thinking, many people under- or overestimate their height by as much as an inch.


Users who are still in their growing years may need to amend their height as frequently as once every two or three months. After 40, checking once every couple of years will suffice.


Birth Date


Enter your birth date in standard month/day/year format. November 3, 1966, for example, would be 11/3/66. Be careful: A mistaken birth-date entry cannot be corrected, because it helps to identify the folder where your records are kept.




Click the button corresponding to your gender. Make sure this choice is correct, because it profoundly affects your nutrient requirements. (If you do make a mistake, you'll be able to fix it later.)


Nutrient-Sensitive Facts


Checking any of these will cause Diet Power to include special information in your daily health tips. With two exceptions, it will also change some of your nutritional allowances. (If your doctor doesn't like the changes, you'll be able to undo them.)


"I am pregnant." Mark the box if you are pregnant or think you are; then click the "1st trimester" (if you're three months pregnant or less) or the "2nd or 3rd trimester" button.* This will cause Diet Power to adjust your allowances of certain nutrients.


"I am lactating." Check this box if you're breast-feeding; then click the "1st six months" or "2nd six months" button,* depending on your baby's age. (If you're less than a week away from the six-month cutoff, it's all right to check the second button now. That will save you from having to revise the form again in a few days.) Diet Power will adjust your allowances of certain vitamins and minerals. (Make sure the box is unchecked if you are not breast-feedingeven if you've just quit today.)


(If you're lactating and pregnant, check "I am pregnant" and ask your doctor to help you edit your Personal Daily Allowances to cover both conditions.)


"I use tobacco." Check this box if you average more than one cigarette, one-half pipeful, one-quarter of a cigar, or one dip of snuff or chewing tobacco per day. Diet Power will raise your daily allowance of vitamin C by 35 milligrams, in keeping with studies showing that smoking depletes the vitamin.


"I drink alcoholic beverages." Mark this box if you average more than two drinks per week. A "drink" is defined as 3/4 fluid ounce of pure alcoholabout what you'd get from a 12-ounce beer, a 6-ounce glass of wine, or a 1-1/2-ounce shot of liquor. Checking the box will change your daily allowance of alcohol from zero to the highest amount you can consume and still be considered a "moderate" drinker. (Even if you don't check this box, your Nutrient History will reflect any alcohol that you happen to consume.)


"I have high blood pressure." Check this box if your resting blood pressure 1) averages 140/90 or higher, or 2) probably would if you weren't taking medication or other measures to lower it. (The first number, the systolic pressure, used to be considered less significant than the second, the diastolicbut recent studies have cast doubt on this rule. Still, if your reading is normally 142/83, you could probably answer no. Similarly, if it's 135/92, you should answer yes. Ask your doctor.) Be advised, however, that many experts think 140/90 is too high a ceiling. An ideal blood pressure for most adults is around 110/70. If yours is considerably above that and you'd like Diet Power to give an occasional tip on lowering it, answer yes. (The choice doesn't change your daily allowance of any nutrient.)


"I'm on a low-salt diet." Mark this box if your doctor has prescribed a low-salt diet, or if you'd like to cut your intake of sodium for general health reasons. This will prompt Diet Power to include more information about sodium in your daily health tips. It won't change your daily allowance of sodium, however, since "low-salt" is an imprecise term. (Once you begin using the program, you'll be able to set your allowance at whatever level your doctor recommends.)



The Recommended Dietary Allowances do not change from one stage of pregnancy or lactation to the next, but other advice may.


Personal Interests


The five sections in the lower part of the form are for recording your weight goal and the diseases, diets, diet drugs, and nutrients that interest you most. These help your Personal Health Coach tailor its advice more precisely to your goals.


"Recalculate my PDAs."


If you're filling out the Personal Information Form for the first time, this box will be "grayed out," because it applies only when you reopen the form. (PDAs are your Personal Daily Allowances of various nutrients.)


Importing Records


The Import My Records button works only for importing records from Diet Power 3.3 or earlier versions. Click this button if you already have an older Diet Power on your computer and want to equip your new one with the old records.


If you're trying to import records made in Diet Power 4.0 (transferring them from home to office computer via a travel disk, for example), don't click the Import My Records Button. Instead:

  1. Enroll a new user, but enter the same first name and birth date as you did at home. (Just guess at all the other factsthey'll be replaced when you import your records.)

  1. When you reach the Home Screen for the first time, click the Travel Bag buttonand import the records from your travel disk.

To close the Personal Information Form:


If you want to save your work and finish enrolling, click OK or press the Enter key. Diet Power will take you to the next step.


If you'd rather not enroll, click Cancel or press the Escape key. After asking you to confirm your decision, Diet Power will discard your work and take you back where you came from.



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Last Modified: 4/26/04