Google Maps kills off its new calorie counter

The tool, which rolled out as a test for some iOS users, shows how many calories users would burn if they made a decision to walk to their destination. Maybe, Google can bring the feature back with alterations such as giving an option to disable the calorie estimate. Now, that will no longer exist in the app.

There can't be many occasions on which a huge tech company has added a new feature to an app - then removed it just 24 hours later after user kickback.

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Calorie counter features are not new. It's interesting that for the past week, this feature was in the testing phase. And of all the unlikely things that feature could be, it's a cupcake ... Furthermore, calorie estimates for "average" people is so vague that the information isn't very helpful without more context about how it was calculated. As Google Maps' explainer put it, "the average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile". So, this approximation is not only wrong, but also confusing.

Critics also noted that preoccupation with calorie tracking is one of the hallmarks of anorexia nervosa, as well as other eating disorders. 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 unsafe or insulting. A simple update to allow people to deactivate the feature would have been enough. 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.

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Meanwhile, if you are interested in finding motivation to move more, sleep better, and improve your overall health, be sure to check out our roundup of The Best Fitness Trackers of 2017. In particular, the lack of a way to turn off this feature triggered a number of peeps, with the most vocal one being The Hill's Taylor Lorenz.

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