Google Maps Has Already Eliminated Its Dumb Calorie Count Feature

Joanna Estrada
October 17, 2017

If a walking route was chosen, calories were displayed in the step-by-step directions, but not on the map itself. After all, there are plenty of fitness and calorie counting apps that keep track of your activity and consumption - again emphasizing how misplaced the feature was. And of all the unlikely things that feature could be, it's a cupcake ...

Google is removing a cupcake-themed calorie counter from Maps after backlash from users, including concern over the feature being a possibly unscientific add-on that could trigger people with eating disorders.

"This walk burns around 313 Calories - that's nearly 3 mini cupcakes", reads a message within the app's walking directions. Then it converts those calories into mini cupcakes. But not everyone saw it as a helpful move, as Buzzfeed notes.

And although this new Maps feature might sound similar to how some restaurants are required to show calorie counts on menus, this is more aggressive.

While Google might think this feature encourages healthy habits, for some, it feels, well, judgey. Users also pointed out that the information could be triggering for people with eating disorders. To help put that into perspective, we've estimated how many desserts your walk would burn. Transport app CityMapper already shows how many calories walking would burn.

As Politico's Taylor Lorenz noted in her tweets, there was no way to turn off the feature. It confirmed to Engadget that the update was briefly tested on iOS, and has been abandoned based on user feedback.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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