How can social protection programs influence nutrition and food security? This meta-analysis of existing programs in developing regions finds that social protection programs improve both the quantity and quality of food consumed by beneficiaries. Food expenditure rises faster than caloric acquisition because households use transfers to improve the quality of their diet, most notably increasing their consumption of calories from animal source foods. Since the consumption of animal source foods in developing populations is low, and because there are significant nutritional benefits to increasing the consumption of these, this is a positive outcome.
Hidrobo, Melissa; Hoddinott, John; Kumar, Neha; Olivier, Meghan. World Development (January 2018). Vol. 101, pp.88-103.