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19 October 2017, 12:30 | Dawn Berry
Google Maps ditches automatic calorie estimates after users say it's not helpful and even potentially harmful
After receiving harsh criticism from people who suffer or have suffered from eating disorders, Google has made a decision to remove the small cupcake calorie counter from its Google Maps iOS apps. After all, there are plenty of fitness and calorie counting apps that keep track of your activity and consumption - again emphasizing how misplaced the feature was. A Google spokesperson told the publication the removal is "based on strong user feedback" and starting from tonight, the calorie feature will be removed from the app. "She cited the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, writing that "[as] many as 30 million people in the United States are estimated to have an eating disorder". "One mini cupcake is around 110 Calories". Someone else wrote, "Anyone else feel like the google mapsmini cupcake feature reinforces the idea that all exercise must be atonement for the sin of eating?" It turns out that Wednesday is National Chocolate Cupcake Day (not to be confused with regular National Cupcake Day, which is December 15) - which would have been a prime opportunity for gimmicks galore to show off Google's cupcake calorie counter.
Besides this automatic calorie estimate, this Maps feature also gave their "mini cupcakes" equivalent, sort of for putting things into perspective. In addition to a general feeling that the app was shaming or judgemental, individuals expressed concerns that it could have a negative effect on people with past or present eating disorders and that, because everyone's metabolism is different, the values were not usefully accurate. However, it does not clarify the standard for an "average" person. However, many saw this calorie estimates as rather a vague, useless, possibly even damaging element.
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