Obesity in America, it's been called an epidemic. Lots of people are trying to trim the fat. Michael Kithua says he's targeting his waist.

"Around the mid area, just around this area." Says Michael

Marilyn Rolf says she is shooting for below the waist.

"Exactly that spot and a little bit off the thighs, I would like to have those toned." Says Marilyn.

But Marilyn may want to reconsider her exercise routine. Researchers at the University of Oxford in England have found that fat in the rear and thighs may actually help protect against diseases like diabetes and heart disease by producing beneficial hormones.

Texas-Health HEB Dr. Kristen Vallery says the next step for scientists is to learn how our bodies decide where to store fat, that she says, would be breakthrough science.

"Maybe they'll have a cure for obesity or maybe a cure or better medical therapies that can actually help people with diabetes and blood pressure problems." Says Dr. Vallery.

It's Marilyn's first day in the gym and while she knew fat was bad, she says she had no idea that fat in certain places may be good.

"It's confusing to really understand the concept of how some is good and some is bad."

Scientists say belly fat breaks down easily but releases substances that are linked to heart disease and diabetes, unlike the booty and thigh fat that releases good hormones.

Texas-Health HEB fitness expert Mike Moore says he wishes there was a simple answer or pill that would burn all the fat away. Moore says that it doesn't matter where your fat is, you simply can't target that area.

"If you're moving you are burning, there is not spot reducing that I know of at this point, if there is, sign me up for it because I'll have thousands of clients lining up for it." Says Moore.

Remember Michael? It's taken him eight months to lose ten pounds and according to the study he's fighting the the good fight against the bad fat. Michael says he's making every effort to melt the fat.

"This has taken quite a lot of work and I am still working on it as you can see, so I'm still working on it."

Researchers say more studies are needed.