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THE GOODS : Counting Calories? Just Calculate 'Em


That familiar pyramid consumers have been seeing on favorite groceries and snacks--the U.S. government's Food Guide Pyramid outlining the proper foods to eat daily--has just gone electronic.

Miami-based USA Nutritional Tracking Inc. has introduced the Great Electronic Countdown Food Pyramid, a credit-card sized calculator that helps users keep track of daily servings of the major food groups recommended by U.S. Dietary Guidelines. The little calculator resembles the pyramid, showing the milk, vegetable, meat, fruit and bread groups.

At the touch of a button picturing a food group, the calculator keeps track of daily food servings. It counts down in whole and half increments and always displays how many servings of each group remain to be eaten.

The calculator can be set for the correct number of servings for the user, depending on age, sex, weight and how active he or she is. A booklet that comes with the Pyramid calculator recommends the servings an individual needs to get the proper nutrients and calories each day.

The Great Electronic Countdown Food Pyramid ($19.95, plus $3.95 shipping and handling) is available from USA Nutritional Tracking Inc., 1474 N.E. 130th St., Miami, Fla. 33161; (800) 543-2144.


Hit the Road: Computer buffs planning a vacation should check out the new Precision Mapping 2.0 on CD-ROM from Just SoftWorks Inc. It is an enhanced version of the Illinois company's popular Precision Mapping 1.0 for DOS, available since 1993.

Precision Mapping 2.0 features a detailed map of the continental United States that includes more than 17 million street, road and highway segments, almost 3 million miles of rivers and streams and more than 2 million landmarks.

Users can view, edit, search and print map information of any location, at any scale, within the United States with the click of the mouse. The new program offers users the ability to search by city name, street name, address, ZIP code, longitude and latitude. When probing for an address, users can search down to the level of an individual block. Once an address has been found, users can create their own custom color maps.

Precision Mapping 2.0 ($119) is available at selected computer outlets nationwide. As a bonus, buyers can select one of two free CD-ROMs, American Business Information 11 Million Yellow Pages or 70 Million White Pages. For more information contact Just Soft-Works, 15419 127th St., Lemont, Ill. 60439; (708) 257-7616.


Electronic Registry: Choice in Dying, the nonprofit group that pioneered the living will 25 years ago, and the National Electronic Archive of Advance Directives (NEAAD) have created a new electronic registry for consumers who wish to have advanced directives concerning their future medical care.

Consumers' advance directives, including living wills, medical power of attorney and specific individual medical instructions will be stored in NEAAD's computer files, where they will be accessible to consumers and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Copies can be faxed within 15 minutes to the individual's family, health care provider or hospital.

Choice in Dying's legal staff will review the advance directives to make sure the forms are properly completed according to the requirements of state law.

The initial fee for an individual subscriber is $24, with an annual renewal fee of $12.50. To register, call NEAAD at (800) 379-6866 or write to: NEAAD-Dept. H, 11000 Cedar Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106.

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