Google kills Maps feature after complaints that it could trigger eating disorders

Oct 19, 2017, 00:30
Google kills Maps feature after complaints that it could trigger eating disorders

When people used Google Maps to search for a location and selected the walking option, it would tell them roughly how many calories they would burn and compared it to the number of mini cupcakes.

Google Maps had added a tool that shows users how many calories they could burn by walking, as opposed to driving, to their destination, according to Buzzfeed.

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

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Every mile walked burns 90 calories for an average person. "One mini cupcake is around 110 Calories".

Amid user backlash, Google Maps' short-lived calorie counter will be pulled from the app. It doesn't just show you the calorie count of the potential walk, it shows you what it amounts to in junk food - and in cupcakes, a type of food that is particularly associated with women. 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.

In particular, users objected to the fact that there was no way to turn off the feature.

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People from all walks of life generally don't like to be reminded of calories, whether it's how many they're consuming or how many they could be burning.

Yet despite the "strong user feedback" to scrap the feature, many on social media were also feeling a little disappointed from the decision.

Namely, the feature's info did not really explain how and what is an "average person". The company could even issue an update to take into account the user's weight, height, age and gender. It's interesting that for the past week, this feature was in the testing phase. Unfortunately for Google, theirs is the most popular one.

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