Google to remove experimental calorie counter from Maps following user backlash

Google Maps Shows Walking Distance As Calories And People Are Pissed

The feature was in testing for the last week or so.

The feature, which began rolling out to some users about a week ago, not only displayed the amount of calories users could burn by walking when they looked up a route, but also how many "mini cupcakes" those calories are worth.

After receiving harsh criticism from people who suffer or have suffered from eating disorders, Google has made a decision to remove the small cupcake calorie counter from its Google Maps iOS apps.

Google confirmed to Buzzfeed late Tuesday that the feature would be removed due to "strong user feedback". Men are seeking help for eating disorders now more than ever-here's how one guy overcame an eating disorder that almost killed him. As Google Maps' explainer put it, "the average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile".

Users flocked to criticise Google Maps, with many pointing out that since Google used calorie estimates for the "average" people - the resulting information wasn't very helpful to users looking to burn more calories. TechCrunch also wrote that excessive calorie counting "is a hallmark of anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders". "The more we have technology that promotes that view, the more people who may develop eating disorders might be triggered into that pathway". A number of users criticized the feature on social media, calling it judgmental and potentially triggering for those with or recovering from eating disorders.

Of note, Google already has an app for people who are interested in tracking their calories, Google Fit, which has been on the Play store (though not on iOS) since 2014. The company could even issue an update to take into account the user's weight, height, age and gender. Citymapper, for example, has a calorie estimate feature.



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