Amid backlash, Google Maps nixes short-lived calories-and-cupcakes counter

Google Maps received harsh criticism for a new calorie-counting feature that measured how many mini-cupcakes you would burn off by walking

Then it converts those calories into mini cupcakes.

While the company likely intended the feature to promote healthy living, it ignited backlash on social media sites.

"If they're bombarded with calorie counts everywhere they go. if they're not ready for that, they might not have their tools, their coping mechanisms, to be able to deal with those triggers", he said. In addition to a general feeling that the app was shaming or judgemental, individuals expressed concerns that it could have a negative effect on people with past or present eating disorders and that, because everyone's metabolism is different, the values were not usefully accurate.

Perhaps, had the feature been opt-in, or even opt-out, rather than appearing without warning with no off switch, it might have garnered a more positive reaction. "Not to mention just generally shamey". Such a calculation can vary wildly from person to person, as burn rates are based on a variety of factors including gender, age, current weight, body composition, and more.

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As TechCrunch reported, Google added the feature to its iOS Maps app about a week ago.

Google confirmed to the Telegraph that the feature, which is being tested in the iOS version of Maps, will end this evening after it had received "strong user feedback".

Besides triggering potentially obsessive exercise and diet habits, the calorie estimate was extremely vague, based on what an "average person" would burn-whoever or whatever that is. So, starting today, the tech giant will completely remove the controversial calorie counter. If you already have walking selected, the calories are shown in the step-by-step directions, but not the map. However, the app is not as widely used as Google Maps and doesn't include a cupcake comparison.

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