As always, Kolata's coverage is excellent: detailed and thoughtful.
The ridiculously short form: RCT study of effects of removing 1 pound of fat from thighs via liposuction after 1 year. The Fat Came Back (duh), but not on the thighs. There are interesting details about how they got women to agree to be randomized and so forth. Despite where the results were published, the women involved were "nonobese".
You can read the abstract for the article here:
And it has more information about measurements and more study constraints.
I find nothing about this surprising, other than that someone _actually_ did what looks like a pretty good study.
About a decade ago, when I was busy avoiding some really appalling news coverage, I spent a bunch of time reading health news coverage because, for a while, it was relatively uncontaminated by the larger political world. I was trying to understand a variety of things about nutrition and exercise, and in particular, I got really obsessed with putting together a series of sequences for where fat would go in or come out of your body, depending on characteristics like gender, age, what kinds of foods you typically ate and what kinds of physical activity you typically engaged in. I picked up the term "fat depot" and had this idea that your body had preferential areas to put the extra calories, and they were arranged as a stack (first in last out/last in first out, however you care to think about it). So if you got focused on fat in a body part that was deep in your personal "stack" of fat depots, you were going to have to get low-fat all over because it was going to be the last to go. This is _unbelievably_ important to understand if you are female and reproductive, because for a lot (not all) women, breasts are higher in the stack than thighs (and sometimes belly). That is, for many women, weight loss means boob loss before thigh loss. I ultimately convinced myself that anyone for whom this was _not_ true actually did not have some magic diet or exercise routine (whatever they believed themselves), but had a slightly different stack, probably due to genetics. Chasing strategies for how to lose weight while keeping the boobs at their fattiest was just signing up to be a Mark for every bad diet or exercise routine every imagined. And cultural preferences for thin, muscular looking women with big tits was a prescription for fake ones.
Needless to say (altho I'm about to anyway), this study slots _perfectly_ into my theory of how human bodies work.