Technology

Google Maps pulls cupcake calorie counter after backlash

Some social media users accused the feature of being insensitive to eating disorder sufferers.

Google has removed an update to its Maps app that showed users how many calories would be burned if they walked to their input destination.

The experimental feature, which was rolled out to some iOS users of the app, appeared beneath walking directions complete with a pink cupcake icon.

The feature also equated the amount of calories burned to a number of mini cupcakes which could hypothetically be eaten, an assessment that was heavily criticised on social media by US journalist Taylor Lorenz.

She criticised the inability to turn the feature off, as well as accusing it of being inaccurate because it did not take into account general health information.

Google confirmed that following “strong user feedback” it was removing the feature.

However, the decision to remove it sparked further debate online, with some suggesting the outcry over the calorie counter was extreme.

Others suggested the counter should be made optional, giving those who were interested in trying it the opportunity to do so.

Health and fitness technology has become increasingly prominent in recent years – many smartwatches now use GPS data to track movement during the day, along with other personal health stats to build a fitness picture of a user.

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