PURPOSE: Determinants of morbid obesity are complex and numerous, yet understanding the neurobiological underpinnings improves our knowledge of this serious issue. Emerging science supports a comparison of disordered eating with other addictive substances. DESIGN AND METHODS: The study used a sub-analysis of a cross-sectional study of nurses in a state-monitoring program. FINDINGS: A study of 173 participants in a state-monitoring program for impaired nurses revealed that 14% (n= 25) had undergone bariatric surgery. Of these, 17 developed an addiction after surgery. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Evidence suggests that some individuals may require additional treatment, similar to those with pharmacological addictions. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.