Google added a calorie count feature to Google Maps in order to promote walking and other physical activities, but due to recent criticism, the feature has been removed. Hen users would look for a nearby restaurant on Google Maps, the app would calculate for the user how many calories he/she would burn when walking to the restaurant instead of driving.
Numbers are not good
According to Stephanie Zerwas, clinical director of the Center of Excellence for Eating disorders at the University of North Carolina, people suffering from eating disorders tend to fixate on the number. This dangerous mind-set makes sensitive people see the relationship between food and body as a mathematical equation. Experts believe that the more people fixate on numbers, the more they tend to develop eating disorders.
Google removed the feature
Google used the Calorie Counting feature as an experiment used for iOS apps and it removed it on Monday. The social media responded to this immediately with people defending Google for promoting exercise, while others complaining it was insulting and dangerous.
Critics were upset by the fact that the Google Maps feature used cup-cakes to put calories into perspective and thus framing food as a reward for exercising. Also they said that it is not clear how the app calculated the calories and mini cup-cakes relation.
It is not the first time incidents are created due to calorie counting topics. It seems that the nexus of nutrition sees calorie counting as an unhealthy habit promoting eating disorders.
However, in some cities such as New York, restaurants need to post calorie numbers on their menus. The Trump administration tries to remove this law.
Obesity is definitely something United States citizens should worry about. Recent studies showed that 12.5 % of children are obese.