The world's forth most populous country has become the world's largest importer of sugar. Once the largest exporter, Indonesia's sugar mills cannot keep up with the enormous demand.

But the nation's sweet tooth is already costing the country dearly - with high rates of obesity and diabetes. 

Around 20kg of sugar are consumed per person per year, more than in most other Asian countries, and more than 12 percent of the children are now overweight. Organisations like the Big Community are asking the government to create awareness around the issue.  

"What is needed is education that sugar is not good for you and that a toddler who is fat is not healthy as many think here," Debby Singal, the founder of Big Community said.

While the government says it has started awareness campaigns, there is still no legislation for food labelling. And sugar producers deny responsibility.

"If we work hard we need energy. Even if we consume sweet drinks- but we work hard, our body will not get sick. We only get sick if we consume too much sugar without doing physical exercise," says Rachmad Edi Cahyono, from the Madukismo Sugar Mill.

Step Vaessen reports from Yogyakarta.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.  Click here  for more  Counting the Cost .   

Follow Kamahl Santamaria  @KamahlAJE  and business editor Abid Ali  @abidoliverali .

Source: Al Jazeera