Google ditches its calorie estimator in Maps after criticism

The calories were communicated in equivalence to the amount of "mini cupcakes". The update estimated how many calories a user would burn if they walked to their destination instead of drove, but "based on strong user feedback", Google has decided not to keep it in the app.

It then showed how many mini cupcakes those calories would be worth: i.e., walking from the Philly Voice offices to Suburban Station burns an estimated 35 calories, according to Google Maps, putting me in the clear to eat a third of a mini cupcake.

While the company likely intended the feature to promote healthy living, it ignited backlash on social media sites. According to The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) 30 million people suffer from eating disorders in the U.S. and they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Some Twitter users called the calorie counter a trigger for those with eating disorders.

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There doesn't appear to be an opt-out function. 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. "Not to mention just generally shamey".

Google responded by telling Buzzfeed that it was only a test feature, not rolled out to everyone, and is being removed by the end of the day.

"The average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile". Drag content you find in the Google app and drop it into whatever app is open next to it. Try using this feature to add content from Google to your emails, presentations, and notes, or even drag text from other apps to search it in the Google app. If you already have walking selected, the calories are shown in the step-by-step directions, but not the map.

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