After receiving harsh criticism from people who suffer or have suffered from eating disorders, Google has decided to remove the small cupcake calorie counter from its Google Maps iOS apps. This is a feature that tracks how many calories a person has burned by walking a certain distance on foot. Now, that will no longer exist in the app.
According to a spokesperson from the company, they have taken this decision after receiving feedback from users regarding the dangers the feature poses. So, starting today, the tech giant will completely remove the controversial calorie counter. It’s interesting that for the past week, this feature was in the testing phase.
Google Maps will no longer have a calorie counter
This feature kept track of the calories by using cupcakes as units. For example, a mini cupcake meant 110 calories. While walking on foot, the app would calculate the number of cupcakes and calories a person burned. Google Maps would then display the info regarding this as well as suggesting a certain route on the map. It would also offer suggestions for objective in the area, as well as obstacles or things that might prevent you from reaching your destination. For example, road blocks or construction sites. For those who are curios, if a person were to walk to the moon, they would burn about 1,400,344,433 mini cupcakes.
One of the things that has inflamed so many people is Google’s way of saying that an average person burns about 90 calories for each mile on foot. However, the problem is that nobody has said what an average person should look like. So, this approximation is not only wrong, but also confusing. Moreover, many people on Twitter have said that this calorie counter and the cupcake system could act as a trigger for people suffering from eating disorders.
It can be dangerous for certain people
Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders? Not to mention just generally shamey
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) October 17, 2017
Nobody is sure why Google preferred to completely remove the calorie counter. A simple update to allow people to deactivate the feature would have been enough. Also, more than welcome. The company could even issue an update to take into account the user’s weight, height, age and gender. After that, the app could establish a personalized counter. It’s interesting that many map apps have a calorie counter. Unfortunately for Google, theirs is the most popular one.
Image source: flickr