The concept of “nutritional programming” has led us to realize that early nutrition and metabolism have a very important impact on
long-term health. There is a certain correlation between the growth of fetal and childhood and the occurrence of metabolic diseases in adults,
such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is the most common metabolic disease whose prevalence is
increasing worldwide. Nutrition in early stages of growth may be essential in the development of obesity in adulthood. Human milk is the most
natural and ideal food for the baby. Moreover, breast-feeding appears to be associated with a lower risk of obesity than formula feeding. Human
milk contains bioactive components, such as leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, which are involved in food intake regulation and energy balance.
These bioactive factors may contribute to childhood growth. In this review, we discuss bioactive factors contained in human milk and their
potential protective effect on subsequent obesity.