By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Fat around the thighs and buttocks is considered unsightly by some but, according to several reports in the journal Nature and The International Journal of Obesity, studies have found that fat in this area can reduce the harmful effects of inflammation in the body leading to protection against disease.

This fat takes longer to build and break down than upper body fat. For instance, the breakdown of abdominal fat releases factors linked to heart disease and diabetes. In fact, there are some who say that it may be a good idea to deliberately increase lower body fat in those who are more prone to it to help fight against disease.

This is a bit extreme but I think it is important to realize that fat is not necessarily the enemy and if you eat a healthy diet you may just have a body structure that places fat in certain areas more than others.

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