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October 17, 2017

Amid backlash, Google Maps nixes short-lived calories-and-cupcakes counter

Amid user backlash, Google Maps’ short-lived calorie counter will be pulled from the app.

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. 

It then showed how many mini cupcakes those calories would be worth: i.e., walking from the PhillyVoice offices to Suburban Station burns an estimated 35 calories, according to Google Maps, putting me in the clear to eat a third of a mini cupcake.

Google confirmed to BuzzFeed late Monday that the feature would be removed due to “strong user feedback.”

Some critics said the app could trigger people susceptible to eating disorders, especially since there was no option to turn the feature off. Additionally, the app doesn’t take into account a user’s personal health information, in the least height and weight, to calculate the calories that would be burned.

Others noted, however, that other mapping apps have long had similar features (though not with the whole cupcake aspect). Citymapper, for example, has a calorie estimate feature.