A hand holding a space gray iPhone over a bicycle handlebars. The screen of the phone is displaying a Google Maps route.

Recently, Google rolled out a new test feature to a small number of users that showed them the amount of calories that they could burn by walking their chosen route instead of driving or taking public transit. In an attempt to make the caloric amounts more tangible, the feature also translated them into — get this — mini cupcakes.

A screenshot of Google Maps showing that 408 calories would translate into almost four mini cupcakesPhoto: Katie Notopoulos, Buzzfeed

It seems the company's intentions were pure in that it wanted to playfully encourage a bit of physical activity. However, it's clear that Google didn't take users that may struggle with disordered eating into account. Many individuals took to Twitter to voice their concerns, saying that the new feature made them feel shamed and judged for eating and could be an extremely harmful trigger for those battling eating disorders. The worst part: the feature wasn't something you opted into, and there was no way to turn it off.


Some also noted that the fact that Google was measuring the calorie count in cupcakes, a food most often associated with women, meant it was contributing to the dangerous and unhealthy diet culture young girls and women often fall prey to.


As a result of all this, the the cupcake calorie counter didn't even last a whole 24 hours before it was pulled. I speculate that reception of this update would have been different had it been an optional thing users could toggle on or off by choice. As someone who has had a lot of experience with shame and self-hatred centered around eating and body image, I understand the constant pressure to obsessively count calories. Though these triggers may seem small and trivial to some — and oh boy, did they — to others they're a first step toward relapse.

As of right now Google hasn't commented on whether or not it's going to tweak the feature and reintroduce it at a later date, but it's looking like chances are slim.

Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

It might be Prime Day, but this Instant Pot deal is available to everyone
Instant Pot 3-Quart Duo Mini Pressure Cooker
$39.95 $65.00 Save $25

This 3-quart multi-cooker is perfect for smaller households or serving sizes, and today's deal beats the others we've seen.

Unlock voice control with Echo device deals and $5 Amazon smart plugs
Amazon Echo devices bundled with $5 smart plugs

Amazon's Smart Plug lets you start voice controlling anything plugged into it by asking an Alexa-compatible device, and today's deal lets you snag one for only $5 with purchase of select Echo devices.

Be more productive with a year of Office 365 Home and a free $50 Amazon gift card
Office 365 Home 12-month subscription and $50 Amazon gift card
$99.99 $150.00 Save $50

The subscription works with up to six people, but that card can be all yours.

Amazon's Fire TV Cube is down to just $70 thanks to this Prime Day deal
Amazon Fire TV Cube
$69.99 $119.99 Save $50

Grab TCL's 32-inch 720p Roku TV for less than $100 in this Prime Day Lightning deal
TCL 32S325 32-inch 720p Roku TV
$99.99 $130.00 Save $30

Act fast while you can. These Lightning deals tend to sell out quick.

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and $100 in Amazon gift cards
$359.00 $499.00 Save $140

That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console with Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn
$249.99 $359.98 Save $110

This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

More Prime Day Deals