According to a new study of New York City Starbucks, required calorie disclosure is good for more than just making people feel guilty, at least in the frappuccino set. The results of the Stanford University investigation show that New Yorkers purchased muffins, danishes and other food items that were six percent less caloric, when counts were posted at the Starbucks location. According to City Room, it's one of the first studies to show that caloric postings have a positive affect on customer habits. Still, the study's wealthy subjects decrease its credibility, since research on less affluent brands and markets has come up with different results.

Even though restaurants fought bitterly against the law, the study showed that Starbucks' well-off clientele spent the same amount of money and reduced their caloric intake per order by 26 percent. Even the hard sells—customers used to daily orders of the butteriest croissants—down-graded to low-fat muffins. Mayor Bloomberg is feeling good about the announcement, since he's been pushing for more menu board calorie postings. "This study helps confirm what we've believed all along," said Bloomberg in a written response to the study. "Consumers can make healthier choices when supplied with the right information, and businesses can profit while offering their customers healthier alternatives."

Still, it will take more than a bunch of numbers to keep the area's less affluent consumers away from cheaper treats. A different NYU study of poor neighborhoods with high obesity rates focused on calorie counts at McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It showed that caloric disclosure made little or no difference in those markets, and sometimes even augmented the load to the mid-section!