Your tax dollars at work.

It isn’t much of a secret that overweight girls tend to have harder times getting dates to the prom, much less boyfriends. But federal officials apparently wanted scientific proof, so they spent $800,000 studying obese teenage romances.

Last year, the National Institutes of Health, the government’s health research arm, gave nearly a half-million in taxpayer dollars to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to monitor groups of teenage girls to determine how obesity affects their dating lives and their ability to form relationships.

“Mounting evidence demonstrates that weight influences intimate (i.e., dating and sexual) relationship formation and sexual negotiations among adolescent girls,” the project description states.

So… I guess we’ve got that straightened out now, eh? Apparently not. The subject was too complicated to simply wrap it up between 2014 and 2015, so the funding has been extended into 2016. Now, a million dollars is no longer “real money” in terms of the massively bloated national debt. Heck… it’s not even a rounding error. But every one of these “projects” adds up, and there are a lot of them. A representative of the National Taxpayers Union weighed in on this sort of spending.

“Has the government checked social media lately? It doesn’t cost $800,000 to find out about teenagers’ dating drama,” said Douglas Kellogg, communications manager for the National Taxpayers Union. “With a growing $18 trillion debt, government should be worrying about its own size.”

No matter how many times critics bring up stories like these they never seem to go away. I still recall a study commissioned in New York some years back where the government spent $27,000 to try to figure out why prisoners want to escape from prison. That was a classic, though you might think the answer was fairly obvious and most of us could have handled the job a lot more cheaply. CNS News compiled a collection last year which showed some remarkable investments of your cash by Uncle Sam. A few highlights:

$387,000 for Swedish massages for rabbits
$856,000 for Teaching Mountain Lions to Ride a Treadmill
$171,000 for Studying the gambling habits of monkeys

and, of course, my favorite…

$50,000 for Subsidizing Alpaca Poop

To be fair, though, the same list did include $80M for trying to build a real life Iron Man suit, which is at least awesome. Meanwhile, we’ll just have to hold our breath until next year to find out if skinny girls get more dates. I’m sure the million plus dollars will be well worth it.