Google drops its calorie-counting Maps update following user backlash

Google Maps Shows Walking Distance As Calories And People Are Pissed

Google Maps ditches automatic calorie estimates after users say it's not helpful and even potentially harmful

Google Maps has swiftly canned an in-app feature that showed how many calories you'd burn by walking along a specific route - but not everyone is completely thrilled about it.

With the new feature, users saw a pink cupcake icon that automatically showed them how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination.

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The US technology firm also converted the calorie count into the number of "mini cupcakes" those calories equate to.

Google Maps' calorie count feature was only released to select iPhone users as part of a limited test, but the outrage it caused led to it being removed in less than 24 hours. "She cited the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, writing that "[as] many as 30 million people in the USA are estimated to have an eating disorder". To illustrate those calories, the app said how many mini-cupcakes a person would burn during the jaunt.

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If you don't use Google Maps on iOS, you likely weren't aware of the feature's existence. The online backlash was mainly regarding the effects this feature could cast on users with eating disorders. So, if you went to get directions for a 2.2-mile journey, Google would tell you that walking the route "burns around 199 calories - that's nearly 2 mini cupcakes!". Furthermore, calorie estimates for "average" people is so vague that the information isn't very helpful without more context about how it was calculated. The feature was in testing for the last week or so. However, it does not clarify the standard for an "average" person. The company was accused by some of carelessness for potentially triggering people with eating disorders, while others complained that they didn't want to be reminded of weight-related things every time they got directions through the app.

However users didn't appreciate the suggestion and it didn't take long for before social media was full of criticism.

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