Anita Courtney, MS, RD, is a Public Health Nutritionist who received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in nutrition from the University of Kentucky. Anita served as the Director of Health Promotion for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department for 25 years where she supervised the following programs: WIC, Community Nutrition, Physical Activity, Health Equity, Employee Wellness, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Health and Obesity Prevention.
Anita started the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition in 2006 and was the Director from 2006-2016. Under her leadership the Coalition started Better Bites, Water First, Good Neighbor Stores, Fresh Stop Markets, School Wellness Action Plan and the VERB Summer Scorecard. Partnering with the University of South Florida, the Coalition used Community Based Prevention Marketing (CBPM) to develop these programs, combining a community coalition with social marketing. Anita currently serves as the School Wellness Coordinator for the Coalition and has a consulting business called Purple Carrots. . Named the Public Health Hero of 2014 by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, Anita is a long-time advocate for healthy eating and has started community gardens, taught vegetarian cooking classes, spearheaded the local and state 5 A Day Challenge, developed We Can! KY and was a nutrition columnist for the Lexington Herald Leader. Anita’s school wellness work includes working on the on the KY Junk Food Bill (SB 172) which helped earn KY the highest score, an A-, on the Center for the Science and the Public Interest School Nutrition Report Card. She helped negotiate Fayette County Public School’s vending contract in 2005 which shifted sales from unhealthy to healthy items. She is the author of Shaping Kentucky’s Future: Policies to Reduce Obesity, Shaping Kentucky’s Future: Local Success Stories, and the Kentucky Farm to School Handbook. She is the co-author of the college textbook The Cultural Feast: Understanding Food and Society. She is a co-author of 17 research articles published in scientific, peer-reviewed journals.