Children living in urban areas with limited access to affordable or good-quality fresh fruits and vegetables, known as “food deserts,” had a 53% higher rate of asthma, researchers reported at the 2016 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) annual scientific meeting.

“We found that 21% of the children who lived in a food desert had asthma, compared to a 17% rate for the children who didn’t live in a food desert,” DeVon Preston, MD, from the Eastern Virginia Medical School, said in a press release.

Based on this modeling study, the researchers determined that living farther than 1 mile from a grocery store was linked to 53% higher odds of having asthma, after controlling for obesity and allergic rhinitis, vs children who did not live in a food desert. However, the researchers found no statistically significant difference in asthma risk between children living 0.5 mile from a grocery store and those living 1 mile distance away.