Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Some users did not want to be told how many cakes they had walked Google has decided to remove an update to Maps that shows users how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination.
It follows what the search giant described as “strong user feedback” with many criticising the feature as patronising, shaming and a possible trigger for eating disorders.
The pink cupcake calorie counter was also lambasted as being unscientific.
It will be removed by the end of the day, Google has confirmed.
The experimental feature was rolled out on the iOS version of Google Maps, beneath walking directions.
It told people how many calories they would burn if they walked and what that was in terms of cupcakes.
Twitter user Taylor Lorenz summed up the attitude of many when she tweeted that the feature could be “extremely triggering” for someone with eating disorders.
She also criticised it because it could not be turned off, and for being “wildly inaccurate” because it failed to take into account general health information.Skip Twitter post by @TaylorLorenz
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, 2017End of Twitter post by @TaylorLorenzSkip Twitter post 2 by @TaylorLorenz
Also these “calorie estimates” take nothing about you or ur health into account so they’re just wildly inaccurate and useless in general imo— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) October 17, 2017End of Twitter post 2 by @TaylorLorenz
Priya Tew, a member of the Association of UK Dietitians said: “Although it is good to encourage people to walk more, having the calories used on Google Maps does not seem to be the best way to do this.
“Firstly it encourages competition, trying to burn more calories each day which could be triggering for some people who have a tendency to over-exercise. Secondly it could make people feel shamed that they have not walked far enough or burned enough calories.
“If people want to count their calories then they should be given the option to do this, rather than it being enforced.”