Google Maps received swift social media backlash for a test feature that showed you how many calories you'd burn if you walked to your destination. The feature was pulled Monday night, and Google confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it was removed in direct response to the negative feedback.
The feature, which was developed for iOS only, showed not only the number of calories a user could burn by walking, but also put the walk in terms of mini cupcakes. This was particularly troubling for some users, who felt it played into unhealthy attitudes about food and exercise. One of the main complaints was that the feature could be harmful for users dealing with eating disorders, as calorie-counting is a controversial practice in the nutrition world, and some have argued that a fixation on numbers can lead to an unhealthy obsession.
ty for shaming me for my mini cupcake consumption google maps!!!! pic.twitter.com/nYwNHMJFqa
— Khushb Shah (@KhushAndOJ) October 16, 2017
"For some people, that's not an issue at all," said Claire Mysko, the chief executive of the National Eating Disorders Association in an interview with The New York Times. "But for people who are hyper-focused on numbers, that can feel very oppressive to see calorie counts everywhere when you're trying to shift your relationship with food."
While some viewed Google Maps' cupcake feature as an attempt to promote healthy habits, the short-lived experiment will not be returning for iPhone users. Summer Meza