Google Maps pulls calorie-counting feature after backlash

Google Put A Calorie Tracker In Maps & The Internet Had None Of It Thanks

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.

In an apparent effort to encourage people to walk rather than drive, Google Maps started showing alternative walking directions when short driving directions were requested, complete with a note on how many calories you'd burn during the walk. Wegmans grocery offers mini-cupcakes that are 97.5 calories each, while Canada's Prairie Girl Bakery, for example, sells mini-cupcakes that each contain 200 calories.

Every mile walked burns 90 calories for an average person. "One mini cupcake is around 110 calories", stated the app. It turns out that Wednesday is National Chocolate Cupcake Day (not to be confused with regular National Cupcake Day, which is December 15) - which would have been a prime opportunity for gimmicks galore to show off Google's cupcake calorie counter. Furthermore, calorie estimates for "average" people is so vague that the information isn't very helpful without more context about how it was calculated.

In a response, Priya Tew, a member of the Association of UK Dietitians, also called the feature "triggering", adding it could make users feel "shamed".

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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.

A new Google feature that may have seemed sweet quickly turned sour. She also wrote: "Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders?"

The feature was rolled out on a test basis to some iOS users, but was rapidly panned on Twitter. Unfortunately for Google, theirs is the most popular one.

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