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Nutrition enu planners must have a basic understanding of nutrition because the human body requires a variety of foods in order to function and be healthy.

The food service worker's responsibility to provide nutritious food and well-balanced menus depends, in part, on the operation. School and hospital food services must, of course, plan menus carefully to meet basic nutritional needs. A qualified dietitian is usually required in such establishments.

The obligations of restaurateurs are more subtle. Because they are in business to sell food, they must offer foods that will attract customers. People who plan menus are as concerned with presenting attractive, flavorful foods as they are with serving nutritious foods. Also, if the menu is a la carte, there is no way to ensure that a customer will order items that make up a nutritionally balanced meal.

But restaurateurs do have an obligation to offer a choice. That is, menus should be planned so customers can order well-balanced meals if they desire. People are becoming more concerned with fitness and health, so a nutritiously balanced menu may even help attract customers.

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