Google removes cupcake calorie counter from Maps

Apparently, a mini calorie counter was available whenever you check the walking directions that show how many calories you could burn.

It then showed how many mini cupcakes those calories would be worth: i.e., walking from the Philly Voice offices to Suburban Station burns an estimated 35 calories, according to Google Maps, putting me in the clear to eat a third of a mini cupcake.

For people who welcomed the calorie estimates and now need to find an alternative, CityMapper provides a similar feature for walking and cycling.

Users flocked to criticise Google Maps, with many pointing out that since Google used calorie estimates for the "average" people - the resulting information wasn't very helpful to users looking to burn more calories.

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Google said an average person burns 90 calories for every mile they walk, but doesn't clarify what an "average" person looks like.

"This walk burns around 313 Calories - that's nearly 3 mini cupcakes", a message within the app's walking directions read, according to CNN.

Critics also noted that preoccupation with calorie tracking is one of the hallmarks of anorexia nervosa, as well as other eating disorders.

United States tech journalist Taylor Lorenz led the way, prompting a fierce online debate about the update after claiming it was triggering for people who struggled with their weight or eating disorders.

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Yet despite the "strong user feedback" to scrap the feature, many on social media were also feeling a little disappointed from the decision.

Users took to Twitter to voice their dislike of the feature, the criticisms ranging from the feature being simply annoying to it being a form of fat-shaming and promoting an over-emphasis on calorie counting-a key behavior in eating disorders.

For now, we don't know whether Google will bring this feature back. The online backlash was mainly regarding the effects this feature could cast on users with eating disorders.

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