The update estimated how many calories a user would burn if they walked to their destination instead of drove, but "based on strong user feedback", Google has decided not to keep it in the app. Men are seeking help for eating disorders now more than ever-here's how one guy overcame an eating disorder that almost killed him.
In other Maps news, Google this week added another new feature users will probably like better than the calorie estimator: imagery from spacecraft Cassini, which launched from Cape Canaveral twenty years ago to study Saturn and its moons. The calories were communicated in equivalence to the amount of "mini cupcakes". Well, most of the Android community may not know about it because it was only a test feature for iPhone users.
And although this new Maps feature might sound similar to how some restaurants are required to show calorie counts on menus, this is more aggressive. This is a feature that tracks how many calories a person has burned by walking a certain distance on foot. 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. Someone else wrote, "Anyone else feel like the google maps mini cupcake feature reinforces the idea that all exercise must be atonement for the sin of eating?" Such a calculation can vary wildly from person to person, as burn rates are based on a variety of factors including gender, age, current weight, body composition, and more.
Some critics said the app could trigger people susceptible to eating disorders, especially since there was no option to turn the feature off.