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Tanita Personal Digital Scale
Model HD-317

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Tanita Personal Digital Scale

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Tanita Personal Digital Scale: Model HD-317
From: TANITA Corporation of America, Inc.

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness

Skinny or fat, we all share one thing in common - an obsession about our weight. How much do I weight? Have I lost any weight? Have I gained any weight? Some people weigh themselves daily, others hourly or yearly. But, one way or another, most people have at least some idea of what they weigh. In large part this is thanks to the advent of the bathroom scale. Before it became common to have a scale in the home, the only time most people got 'weighed' was when they went to the doctors office or joined the military. This is no longer the case. Whether we should be grateful, or not, is a matter of opinion.

People with low vision are just as curious about their weight as fully sighted individuals. And, no, the rumor that 'if you can't see it, it doesn't weigh anything' has been proven, after extensive testing, to be patently false. So what are you to do if you can no longer read the scale you have? You have several options. You can get a scale with a larger dial or digital readout, you can get a talking scale, or you can simply forgo weighing yourself. For most people, not weighing yourself is simply not an option. As well, I have one major complaint about talking scales - other people might hear! So I vote for large readouts, if that is an option for you.

In the realm of scales with large sized readouts, I've found a very nice, and affordable scale. The scale in question is the Model HD-317 digital scale, which is manufactured, and sold, by the TANITA Corporation of America, Inc. This scale has a number of nice features, the most important of which is the bold, extra large size of the numbers on its digital LCD display. This display window is a little over one and a half inches tall. And, in this window, you will see two sets of numbers. One is your current weight, and the other your previous weight. The current weight is displayed in numbers that are about an inch tall, and the previous weight in numbers that are a bit over a half inch tall.

This scale is set up so that it can remember the weights of five different individuals. Along the bottom edge of the scale are five buttons. These buttons can be activated with your toe or by hand, and they are marked by raised numbers. Each person using the scale selects a 'personal' number, and each time they go to weigh themselves they simply activate their button. Their previous weight, from the last time they weighed themselves, will appear in the lower portion of the display window. After they step on the scale, their new weight will appear in the top portion of the scale window.

When you first activate a button, you will hear a short beep. Another single beep will be heard when your previous weight has been displayed. This takes a mere second at the most. After you step on the scale, you will hear two back to back beeps that will sound when your current weight has been calibrated and displayed. Again, this is a very quick process. If, despite the large sizes of the numbers, you cannot see the display while standing on the scale - never fear. After you step off the scale, your weight will remain displayed for about 30 seconds. I've found that this provides plenty of time to pick up the scale and look at the numbers, either unaided or with an aid such as a magnifying glass. Once the two back-to-back beeps sound, your weight is locked in and will not change until you reactivate your 'personal button'. Therefore you can pick up the scale and move it without corrupting the data it has already acquired.

This scale runs off of four AA batteries, a set of which are included with the scale. It can also be set, with the flick of a switch, to display your weight in pounds, kilograms, or stone-pounds. The scale itself if quite handsome, measuring about a foot squared, and an inch and three-quarters tall, it can be easily stored away, or left on display. For the purposes of this review I looked at the HD-317 in white. Along the left and right edges of the scale's platform, there is a slight raised scallop design that can be used as a tactile marker to judge the correct placement of your feet. This design also is of esthetic value. Centered at the top of the platform, is a round silver unit that houses the LDC display. In short, this unit is functional, easy to use, and it will match almost any decor. It is also well suited for use by most people with moderate low vision.

This review was originally published - August 11, 2002

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