Google Maps gets - and then loses

Google Maps Shows Walking Distance As Calories And People Are Pissed

Google Maps ditches automatic calorie estimates after users say it's not helpful and even potentially harmful

The new software addition immediately caused a stir online.

"This walk burns around 313 Calories - that's nearly 3 mini cupcakes", reads a message within the app's walking directions.

After receiving harsh criticism from people who suffer or have suffered from eating disorders, Google has made a decision to remove the small cupcake calorie counter from its Google Maps iOS apps. According to The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) 30 million people suffer from eating disorders in the USA and they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

"If they're bombarded with calorie counts everywhere they go. if they're not ready for that, they might not have their tools, their coping mechanisms, to be able to deal with those triggers", he said.

There doesn't appear to be an opt-out function. "Not to mention just generally shamey", wrote one Twitter user.

Users flocked to criticise Google Maps, with many pointing out that since Google used calorie estimates for the "average" people - the resulting information wasn't very helpful to users looking to burn more calories.

Others noted, however, that other mapping apps have long had similar features (though not with the whole cupcake aspect).

Google confirmed to the Telegraph that the feature, which is being tested in the iOS version of Maps, will end this evening after it had received "strong user feedback". So, starting today, the tech giant will completely remove the controversial calorie counter. The company could even issue an update to take into account the user's weight, height, age and gender.

Before it was pulled, users would see the directions for their destination followed by an estimate of how many calories would be burned by walking. The more you use the Google app, the better it gets.

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