Google Maps to Remove Calorie Counter from iOS Apps


The app tallied calories in confectionary units: one mini cupcake equalling 110 calories. The feature was in testing for the last week or so.

Google briefly tested, but has either removed or planned to remove, a feature in Google Maps that automatically added calorie counts to walking routes, and even expressed the number of calories as an equivalent number of "mini-cupcakes". Said feature informed to give users a general estimation of how many calories got burned during walks, which is a rather standard feature of many a fitness-oriented apps like Samsung Health, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo.

On Monday night, Google pulled the feature, which it said was an experiment on its iOS app. So, if you went to get directions for a 2.2-mile journey, Google would tell you that walking the route "burns around 199 calories - that's nearly 2 mini cupcakes!". It estimates 1,400,344,433 mini cupcakes for walking to the moon, for what it's worth.

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One of the things that has inflamed so many people is Google's way of saying that an average person burns about 90 calories for each mile on foot.

For now, we don't know whether Google will bring this feature back. Taylor Lorenz, politics writer for The Hill and freelance tech reporter over at Mic discovered that there was no way to opt out of or turn off the feature - a troubling issue, as people who could potentially suffer from an eating disorder relapse would essentially be barred from using the app. Caloric burn is a very subjective number based on variety of factors, including age, gender, weight, genetics, and overall activity level. The decision followed a wave of attention on social media; while some of the responses saw Google's feature as promoting exercise, there were several complaints that it was risky or insulting.