Epidemiological studies have demonstrated protective effects of breast-feeding on childhood obesity. Differences between human milk and infant milk formula (IMF) in dietary lipid structure may contribute to this effect. In our mouse model, feeding a diet containing large lipid droplets coated with phospholipids (PL) (Nuturis (R); PL of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) fraction origin) in early life protected against excessive body fat accumulation following a diet challenge in adult life. We now set out to determine the relevance of increased droplet size and/or MFGM lipid droplet coating to the observed anti-obesogenic effects in adult life. From day 16 to 42, male mouse pups were exposed to diets with small (S) or large (L) lipid droplets (0.3 nu. 2.9 mu m average mode diameter, respectively), either without MFGM or with MFGM coating around the lipid droplet, resulting in four groups: S (control diet), L, S-coating and L-coating (Nuturis (R) IMF diet). Mice were subsequently challenged with a Western-style diet until dissection at postnatal day 98. A non-challenged group served as reference (REF). We repeatedly determined body composition between postnatal day 42 and 98. At day 98 plasma and gene expression measurements were performed. Only the Nuturis (R) IMF diet (L-coating) in early life containing MFGM-coated large lipid droplets reduced body fat mass to a level comparable with the REF group. These data support the notion that the structural aspects of lipids in human milk, for example, both lipid droplet size as well as the MFGM coating, may contribute to its reported protective effect against obesity in later life.