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Pizza Hut's Subconscious Menu

Note: You can more about the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program here or at

Do you ever feel like your subconscious drives your food choices with little or no intervention from your more focused, rational thoughts? If so, Pizza Hut seems to be hoping you like making food decisions that way, because the new menu encourages being guided by your subconscious.

From a recent article and seeing a clip on The Colbert Report, some fancy technology is being used with Pizza Hut's new electronic menu, tracking how long you look at particular toppings. The system gives more weight to the ones you look at longer, and based on that, the menu suggests what you should put on your pizza.

It's an intriguing idea, but this approach concerns me for a number of reasons. One problems, as Colbert noted, is the menu has no way of knowing why you might look at something longer. Is it really because you'd love it? What if you're trying to figure out what it is? What if it reminds you of something else, possibly even something you dislike?

I also wonder how this could possibly work with multiple people, if you're sharing food and need to compromise on a type of pizza.

My biggest concern, though, is that we're all very susceptible to ads and marketing. If we see a commercial for something, or hear someone else talk about a food, we may suddenly think we want it even if we're not truly very interested. Images and smells are especially enticing and stick in our minds, so we could end up with something we don't even want.

On the flip side, my training both as a health coach and facilitator for the Am I Hungry?®Mindful Eating program encourages determining what you wantbefore looking at the options. This may, of necessity, involve closing your eyes to better focus internally on what your body is telling you. Only then would you look for a choice that most closely matches what you want and need.

That is the approach I prefer to stick with, though I'm guessing it's not what Pizza Hut hopes you'll decide.

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