Walking Route Calorie Estimator Removed From Google Maps After User Criticism

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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.

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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".

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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.

Top Rated Comments

eiprol Avatar
41 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2268473 Avatar
41 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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gabriel193755 Avatar
41 months ago

Muh condishuns!

People are getting triggered by such things?

It's 2017. People will get triggered by this comment of yours.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
41 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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Prabas Avatar
41 months ago
Muh condishuns!

People are getting triggered by such things?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nagy Dávid Avatar
41 months ago
I am triggered by people who are triggered by the smallest things. Can we get rid of them as well?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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