A chocolate milkshake is the obvious pairing with a fast food hamburger and French fries. The creamy shake balances out the salty and greasy fries and meat, delighting the palate until the last dollop is loudly slurped through the plastic straw.

It might not be such a logical choice, however, if diners saw their meal’s calorie count before purchasing. Last week, a federal judge finally approved a New York City ordinance, more than a year in the making, to move nutritional information from countertop brochures and the Internet to where the customer can’t miss it: right next to the items on menus. Similar laws already exist in cities around the country, including San Francisco and Philadelphia -- and Chicago may be next.