Swine flu fever is spreading and it seems to have everyone jumping up and down in a panic. So, when the CDC and the WHO shrug their shoulders and tell the world, Hey, we're not really sure what's going to happen, the future can feel a little uncertain to say the least.

But, should we all panic? Yes, say British statisticians Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams, whose book Panicology is more timely than ever - but not about the swine flu. Instead they say if we feel like going all 'Chicken Little' over a health issue, obesity is a far better choice.

A Public Health Time-Bomb

While no one really knows exactly how the H1N1 situation will turn out (yet), science does have a pretty good handle on obesity. The Panicology authors actually describe obesity as a public health time-bomb. With one in three Americans being obese, it puts them at risk for diseases we're extremely familiar with, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

However, it seems we're far more afraid of the thing that could make us sick tomorrow (H1N1), than we are about what may cause us serious trouble down the road.

In general, say the Panicology guys, we're far more comfortable with risk when we're in the driver's seat. For instance, though passengers are safer in a plane than a car, few people develop a fear of driving.

So yes, at this point in time swine flu is a public health issue that's completely out of our control, and that scares us. But, what is in our control is our personal health - our weight, the foods we eat, and our fitness level.

So, if you're feeling panicky about the swine flu, take charge and head out for a nice long walk or run. You'll be helping to prevent obesity, and it just might distract you from all that worry at the same time!