Google’s new calorie-counting app offers side dish of guilt

TOGETHER with Facebook, Google practically owns the Internet.

This includes pretty much every little piece of information you’ve ever uploaded. Google knows your name, your phone number, how many times you’ve ordered pizza in the last month and which website you’re likely to visit today.

And now, thanks to a calorie-counting app, Google will also know just how many sneaky pieces of cake you consume.


There are plenty of calorie-counting apps already available, so what’s so special about this one?

The special sauce in Google’s calorie-counting app, which would work in conjunction with Instagram, is its execution: it estimates the amount of calories you consume based on your foodie photos uploaded to social media.

So every slice of cake, every restaurant meal, every coffee with a friend that you’ve snapped a ‘gram of and uploaded could soon have a caloric number attached to it.

What makes the app unique is also its downfall, in my view. The thing is, counting calories alone doesn’t help you lose weight – if that’s your goal – or mean that you have a healthy lifestyle. Calories do not equate to nutritional value and, in some cases, don’t even give a good representation of it.

Sure, knowing the calorie count of something might make it easier to say no to eating an entire block of chocolate. But if you’re snapping a pic of a delicious meal or a sweet treat, you may not even be consuming it. And if you are: do you really need that with a side of guilt with it? We have enough of a problem with fat shaming without another tool to do just that.

I mean, why not just hand the cyber bullies more ammunition? This just opens up your foodie shots to the possibility of nasty comments like “OMG that’s 600 calories! Perhaps you should substitute with a salad?”

Reminding people that the cake they’re eating is unhealthy is akin to toting around your nagging aunt to every meal; she might mean well, but she has a very misguided way of giving advice.

Ultimately, if you want to share your calorie intake online then go for it; it’s up to you.

But loading up those stats automatically? That’s just mean, Google. And just one more reason to give social media the flick.

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