Along with providing the user with an estimate on how many potential calories could be burned by walking a given route, the feature also told users how many mini cupcakes they could "earn" from walking.
According to a spokesperson from the company, they have taken this decision after receiving feedback from users regarding the dangers the feature poses.
Apparently daring to compare burning off calories to the consumption of innocuous, cute cupcakes is cancerous in 2017, with social justice warriors going off their politically correct trees. For example, someone who weighs 250lbs will burn considerably more calories over that mile than someone who weighs 100lbs.
A new Google feature that may have seemed sweet quickly turned sour. If a walking route was chosen, calories were displayed in the step-by-step directions, but not on the map itself. "One mini cupcake is around 110 calories". "She cited the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, writing that "[as] many as 30 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have an eating disorder". That may sound innocuous enough, but as experts who counsel people with eating disorder will attest, forcing a constant reminder of calories onto people can have extremely negative consequences.
Namely, the feature's info did not really explain how and what is an "average person". So, this approximation is not only wrong, but also confusing.
Others are shaming people who eat cupcakes is not cool and this may trigger those who actually have eating disorders. While knowing how many calories you need can be beneficial in weight loss, it's also a hard number to get right. After that, the app could establish a personalized counter.
Interestingly, prior to the outcry, many on digital health Twitter were applauding the move as one that could demonstrate some of the prevailing ideas in the space about behavior change - namely that subtle nudges from the tools consumers already use are an effective motivational strategy.