You won't find that cupcake calorie counter anymore on Google Maps

BuzzFeed News' Katie Notopoulos documented a new, short-lived Google Maps feature that would suggest walking to a given close-by destination while telling you how many calories the average human would burn doing so. According to the feature estimation, one would burn 1,400,344,433 mini cupcakes for walking to the moon. One of the main complaints was that the feature could be harmful for users dealing with eating disorders, as calorie-counting is a controversial practice in the nutrition world, and some have argued that a fixation on numbers can lead to an unhealthy obsession. That may sound innocuous enough, but as experts who counsel people with eating disorder will attest, forcing a constant reminder of calories onto people can have extremely negative consequences.

To make things more interesting and real, Google would show the number of cupcakes you would burn if you walk instead.

The strong reaction to the feature sparked a heated debate online with some social media users complaining the criticism was over the top.

The evil, horrible, oh-so-bad, world-ending cupcake emoji in question arrived as a feature in a new iOS version of Google Maps that functioned as a fitness tracker.

Google began testing this feature with some iPhone users about a week ago, but not everyone was happy with it. "Oh my god and if you click walking directions it auto tells you how much food you'd burn off what the fuck", Lorenz proclaimed. However, it does not clarify the standard for an "average" person. 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.

Google is removing a cupcake-themed calorie counter from Maps after backlash from users, including concern over the feature being a possibly unscientific add-on that could trigger people with eating disorders. It's interesting that for the past week, this feature was in the testing phase.

  • Fernando Stephens