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Eating-and-egos study 'fleeced'

The Golden Fleece award for January goes to an Agriculture Department-funded study which found that fast-food lovers tend to be patriotic and that gourmands like ''life in the fast lane.''

Sen. William Proxmire's monthly award for examples of ridiculous government spending went to a $40,000 study ''claiming that people who have a certain kind of personality eat certain kinds of foods,'' the Wisconsin Democrat said.

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Mr. Proxmire said that at a time when some federal officials think ketchup is a vegetable on a poor child's plate, maybe more time should be spent educating them about nutrition and less time worrying about personality.