a1 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands
a2 Research Group Life Style, TNO, Leiden, The Netherlands
We argue that the spread of unhealthy behaviour shows marked similarities with infectious diseases. It is therefore interesting and challenging to use infectious disease methodologies for studying the spread and control of unhealthy behaviour. This would be a great addition to current methods, because it allows taking into account the dynamics of individual interactions and the social environment at large. In particular, the application of individual-based modelling holds great promise to address some major public health questions.
(Received August 24 2011)
(Revised November 10 2011)
(Accepted April 16 2012)
(Online publication May 17 2012)
c1 Author for correspondence: Mr D. J. Blok, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (Email: email@example.com)