If you’ve been using Google Maps over the last week or so, there’s a good possibility you’re now craving a little pink cupcake. Google recently rolled out a cupcake themed calorie counter comparing your daily walking trips to how many mini cupcakes you can burn. But the new feauture didn’t last long, thanks to backlash from vocal Google Maps users. Many found it to be triggering for those with eating disorders, inaccurate and a way to shame those who are forced to see the cupcake calorie counter every time they look for directions.
BBC reports about the public response to Google’s calorie counter and their quick response to pull the new feature from Maps. The cupcake calorie counter had a little picture of a pink cupcake. It tallied up the distance a trip would take to walk and showed messages like, “This walk burns 133 calories - that’s more than one mini cupcake!”
Social media users immediately started voicing their concern over the new feature that didn't give the choice to see it or not. Twitter user Taylor Lorenz was one of many who took issue with the new calorie counter. She tweeted, “Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders? Not to mention just generally shamey”. Lorenz pointed out in a later tweet that the calorie counter is also wildly inaccurate. She said, “Also these ‘calorie estimates’ take nothing about you or ur health into account so they're just wildly inaccurate and useless in general imo.”
Experts agree that the cupcake calorie counter may not have been the best tool for everyone. Member of the Association of UK Dietitians, Priya Tew, explains how something like this can actually be a detriment to one’s health. Tew says, “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.”
Google has heard the outcries about the cupcake calorie counter and has since removed the feature from their Maps.
**Graphic courtesy of CNN Tech**
What do you think of this cupcake calorie counter feature that Google recently rolled out and then removed?
Do you agree with those who feel the calorie counter was a bad idea to add to Google Maps?