Google Maps Shows Walking Distance As Calories And People Are Pissed

Nettie James
October 18, 2017

Some users were especially upset that the app used mini cupcakes to put the burned calories into perspective, framing food as a reward for exercise, or exercise as a prerequisite for food.

Google Maps will remove a widely criticized experimental iOS feature that estimated how many calories its users could potentially burn by walking a route.

The feature, which began rolling out to some users about a week ago, not only displayed the amount of calories users could burn by walking when they looked up a route, but also how many "mini cupcakes" those calories are worth.

While the company likely intended the feature to promote healthy living, it ignited backlash on social media sites. 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. She also wrote: "Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders?"

There doesn't appear to be an opt-out function.

It's also unclear how accurate the calorie estimates are for individual users, considering the tool doesn't take into account factors like weight and height.

Google has ditched a feature from its hugely-popular navigation app on iOS, thanks to "strong user feedback".

Every mile walked burns 90 calories for an average person. 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.

Calorie counter features are not new. If you already have walking selected, the calories are shown in the step-by-step directions, but not the map.

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