Google Maps pulls cupcake calorie-counting feature after backlash

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The California-based company has removed an experimental feature which estimated how many calories its users would burn while walking a route.

This feature kept track of the calories by using cupcakes as units. The feature crudely estimated the number of calories that would be burned by walking to a location versus driving or taking the bus. To illustrate those calories, the app said how many mini-cupcakes a person would burn during the jaunt.

Users also pointed out that Google Maps doesn't take a user's personal health information into account, so its cupcake calorie counter likely isn't accurate.

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The feature on the Google Maps for iOS measured calories in the form of desserts like one mini cupcake that equals 110 calories.

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.

As TechCrunch reported, Google added the feature to its iOS Maps app about a week ago.

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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. She also wrote: "Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders?"

Perhaps Google will try testing this feature again in the future, but not until the dust settles from the failure of the first test. People burn calories at differing rates depending on a number of factors, such as weight and speed at which they're walking, as Harvard Medical School notes.

And although this new Maps feature might sound similar to how some restaurants are required to show calorie counts on menus, this is more aggressive. Although Google was trying to promote a healthy lifestyle, many objected to the fact there was no way to turn it off, while also pointing out that there are plenty of dedicated calorie-counting apps available should people want one.

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