Google will cut a criticized feature from its iOS Maps app that tracks and estimates how many calories a user burns while walking a particular path, reports TechCrunch. 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 feature was in testing for the last week or so.
The app tallied calories in confectionary units: one mini cupcake equalling 110 calories. Google would estimate how many calories and mini cupcakes someone would burn and display the info alongside the suggested route on the map as well as at the top of the step-by-step directions. It estimates 1,400,344,433 mini cupcakes for walking to the moon, for what it’s worth.
Google said an average person burns 90 calories for every mile they walk, but doesn’t clarify what an "average" person looks like. Users also pointed out that the information could be triggering for people with eating disorders.
Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders? Not to mention just generally shamey— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) October 17, 2017
A simple fix, should the feature return, would be to offer the option to opt out of the calorie estimates. Or Google could embellish the feature to take into account details about the user’s health, including general factors like age, weight, and gender.
Tracking calories in mapping apps isn't new, of course. The CityMapper app has long included a similar function, though it's not nearly as popular as Google Maps.