German court rules ‘Hangovers are an illness’


A German court has ruled that hangovers are an illness, in a timely judgement days after the annual Oktoberfest beer festival began in Munich.

The case landed before judges in Frankfurt when plaintiffs claimed a firm offering anti-hangover “shots” and drink powders to mix with water was making illegal health claims.

“Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property,” the sober ruling from the superior regional court on Monday said.

“By an illness, one should understand even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body,” including the tiredness, nausea and headaches the company claimed its product could polish off, the ruling added.

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In fact, doctors have long used the word “veisalgia” as a specialist medical term for the morning after the night before, the judges noted.

In February scientists in Germany and Britain found that drink order has no effect on the magnitude of one’s hangover.

Researchers plied 90 volunteers with beer and wine to find out once and for all whether hangovers are worsened by the order in which drinks are consumed. About one in ten threw up. But the results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that the order drinks were consumed in had no impact on “hangover intensity”.