Walking Route Calorie Estimator Removed From Google Maps After User Criticism

Google is removing an experimental calorie estimator from its Maps iOS app, following criticism from users that the feature amounted to unsolicited health advice and could do more harm than good (via TechCrunch).

The feature began rolling out to some users last week and shows an estimate of the calories that would be burned if a selected walking route was taken.


The calorie estimator not only displayed the potential number of calories burned, but also how many "mini cupcakes" they were worth. "The average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile," the app states. "To help put that into perspective, we've estimated how many desserts your walk would burn. One mini cupcake is around 110 calories."

Some users reportedly welcomed the feature, but it sounds as if a good proportion of them didn't, as Google has taken the decision to roll it back "based on strong user feedback".



Some user criticism related to an inability to disable the feature, while others questioned its usefulness, given that rates of calorie burn vary widely from person to person, and no context is given about how the estimate is calculated.

Critics also noted that an excessive preoccupation with calorie counting is a symptom of anorexia and other eating disorders, therefore getting calorie estimates every time a route is looked up could have a negative impact on sufferers.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] For those who found the calorie estimator feature useful, other calorie-counting apps are available, such as CityMapper and MyFitnessPal.



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18 months ago
And what is the problem with this feature exactly? Are people really getting triggered by this? Not sure if it's a US-thing, but I'm astonished with all that criticism, and even more with the fact they had to remove it.

And for those saying "it's nor reliable nor precise", let me tell you something: your daily trackers are not either. It's not about that.
Rating: 14 Votes
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18 months ago
Some people are too precious to be allowed out by themselves in this world. People need to move more - if they can get somewhere by walking for 10 or 15 minutes, they'll probably feel better for it.
Rating: 13 Votes
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18 months ago

Muh condishuns!

People are getting triggered by such things?

It's 2017. People will get triggered by this comment of yours.
Rating: 12 Votes
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18 months ago
Jeez Louise. Why are people so unable to view something for what it is? It's just twisted people are upset that a notation of calories in combination with food and exercise somehow leads to people opting to become anorexic rather than maybe a better understanding of how much exercise is required to burn off food. Anorexia is a disorder that is triggered by something far worse than an app, an app that probably could encourage more people to walk to destinations if they have the time. Anorexia is a serious issue but so is obesity and the general lack of exercise.
Rating: 11 Votes
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18 months ago
Muh condishuns!

People are getting triggered by such things?
Rating: 10 Votes
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18 months ago
I am triggered by people who are triggered by the smallest things. Can we get rid of them as well?
Rating: 7 Votes
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18 months ago
On paper, it sort of makes sense, but in practise, its useless. People's pace, weight, metabolism all factor in how much calories are burned up. I think overall, its a useless feature.
Rating: 6 Votes
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18 months ago
People being upset has nothing to do with concerns over how accurately google is estimating the calories burned, or concern over how it might affect those with eating disorders.

People being upset has everything to do with not wanting to be reminded that they're dangerously overweight and need to move more, so they find any reason they can to shut down discussion of such things. Obesity rates in the U.S just hit a new record high. People want to live in bubbles where no one is allowed to bring this topic up, while everyone just keeps getting fatter. This kind of stupidity needs to be ignored, not catered to.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/13/health/adult-obesity-increase-study/index.html
Rating: 5 Votes
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18 months ago
I went on a 3 cupcake walk yesterday.
Rating: 4 Votes
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18 months ago
Definitely not accurate since I eat cupcakes and walk at the same time..
Rating: 4 Votes
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