If you shop online at Ocado, you may find a suggestion to swap your items for an alternate item with lower calories.
The tool tells you the exact calories you may save with a different option, and the amount of exercise you’d need to work it off.
The calorie saver option, which pops up automatically, has been around for some time and has continued to be met with criticism.
People feel that the focus on calories could be triggering for those with eating disorders, who may obsess over every calorie they consume.
When editor Rebecca Reid pointed out the issues with the calorie saver tool, a spokesperson told her to simply turn the option off under her My Ocado settings. .
‘When you’re obsessed with food, it takes over your entire life,’ wrote Rebecca. ‘Food shopping is the ultimate battle. When food is the enemy, the supermarket is the scariest, most stressful place in the world.’
The tool isn’t accused of causing eating disorders, but of being upsetting to those who have experienced disordered eating patterns, prompting them to become mentally invested in the number of calories in everything they eat.
Charity Beat tells Metro.co.uk that their concerns for the tool are the same as for calorie-counting apps and fitness trackers.
A spokesperson for Beat said: ‘Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with complex causes, so use of calories counting apps or features would not be the sole and direct reason for someone developing one.
‘However, many people with eating disorders count calories or track weight loss to the point of obsession, and calories-counting apps or websites can facilitate or exacerbate such behaviours and make recovery harder.
‘There needs to be greater awareness around the risks that calories counting apps can pose to people with or vulnerable to eating disorders.’
The charity is unimpressed by the calorie saver being a default setting which you must opt out of.
Years after the tool’s launch and the ensuing criticism, the tool still remains a default for online shoppers. People have to opt out of receiving the ‘calorie saver’ message.
Beat said: ‘Companies that produce websites or app promoting calories swap need to ensure that notifications or messages do not come on automatically so that people are not unwillingly exposed to intrusive messages that can trigger their eating disorder behaviours or thoughts.’
We’ve reached out to Ocado for a comment and a spokesperson has said: ‘We value feedback from all of our customers and take it into account as we continually evolve the customer proposition.’
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