I think the whole sugar ‘addiction’ thing is exaggeration.
Yes, the same reward pathways are in play… but those same pathways are in play for everything we enjoy and take pleasure in. Our response to sugar is larger than responses to many other foods or activities, but it’s a difference of magnitude, not a difference in type.
More importantly, the difference in magnitude between sugar “addiction” and real addiction to, say, opiates, is profound. That addiction is powerful because it plays directly in brain responses in wildly greater magnitudes than trivial things like sugar intake.
And “craving” sugar is not really “withdrawal,” it’s more like missing something you like until you get used to not having it… compare that to the severe medical withdrawal symptoms of the alcoholic or the drug addict!
I’m not denying that sugar and our responses to it play into bad food choices - they do, and the effect is real - but equating it to real addiction and withdrawal is just part of the currently popular bias towards demonizing sugar.
(Arguably, an obese person’s systemic “addiction” to the leptin produced by their own fat is bigger impediment to losing weight and keeping it off.)