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

Dora Pope
October 19, 2017

The app also translated that calorie count into mini cupcakes, telling walkers how numerous tiny treats they would burn if they walked from point A to point B.

Google will cut a criticized feature from its iOS Maps app that tracks and estimates how many calories a user burns while walking a particular path, reports TechCrunch. "One mini cupcake is around 110 calories". Namely, the service will stop displaying its automatic calorie estimates which showed, for example, how when calories an "average" person could burn by walking a mile (90, according to this count).

Google Maps is reportedly already dropping an experimental feature that only rolled out about a week ago on its iOS version. Because of this, many feel that Google's update was inconsiderate of those who deal with eating disorders and the emotional fallout that can be revived by ostensibly well-meaning features such as these.

To make things more interesting and real, Google would show the number of cupcakes you would burn if you walk instead.

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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. And it could be very a negative (or even triggering) experience for people who have an eating disorder.

In addition to the potentially harmful side effects of the feature, as the Washington Post points out, Google's measurements of both calories burned and calories per cupcake were questionable. However, the problem is that nobody has said what an average person should look like. Or Google could embellish the feature to take into account details about the user's health, including general factors like age, weight, and gender.

But following a backlash on social media, the feature was shelved after critics accused Google of both fat shaming and triggering those with an eating disorder. "Now you can visit these places-along with many other planets and moons-in Google Maps right from your computer".

Other reports by My Hot News

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