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Google Maps Nixes Mini Cupcake Calories Tracking Feature After Backlash
18 October 2017, 12:23 | Brenda Erickson
Google Maps ditches automatic calorie estimates after users say it's not helpful and even potentially harmful
A Google spokesperson told the publication the removal is "based on strong user feedback" and starting from tonight, the calorie feature will be removed from the app.
The company had been quietly testing a new feature in Maps that showed people how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination instead of drove or took public transport. It showed not only calorie estimates, but how many "mini cupcakes" you could burn by walking.
In other Maps news, Google this week added another new feature users will probably like better than the calorie estimator: imagery from spacecraft Cassini, which launched from Cape Canaveral twenty years ago to study Saturn and its moons.
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The feature was rolled out on a test basis to some iOS users, but was rapidly panned on Twitter. TechCrunch also wrote that excessive calorie counting "is a hallmark of anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders".
Amid user backlash, Google Maps' short-lived calorie counter will be pulled from the app. A number of users criticized the feature on social media, calling it judgmental and potentially triggering for those with or recovering from eating disorders. 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.
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