Photo/IllutrationThe price has risen for a fried chicken dish, left, while the cost is reduced for the boiled fish dish at the cafeteria of Yahoo Japan Corp.’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 8. (Fumiko Kuribayashi)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Yahoo Japan Corp.’s headquarters in Tokyo is imposing a “fried food tax” at its cafeteria to promote healthier lifestyles among its employees.

Under the system that took effect on Oct. 8, prices for fried meat dishes, such as “tonkatsu” (fried pork cutlets), have gone up, while grilled or boiled fish dishes cost less.

The company decided to “cut the fat” after medical check-ups in 2017 showed that at least 45 percent of the employees had high levels of LDL cholesterol.

About 1,000 employees eat lunch at the cafeteria every day, and fried dishes were much more popular than grilled or boiled fish.

On Oct. 8, the price of chicken “nanban” (fried chicken in sweet and peppery vegetable sauce), rose by 100 yen ($0.92) to 691 yen at the cafeteria.

On the other hand, boiled mackerel in miso sauce with “kenchin-jiru” vegetable soup cost 543 yen, down 150 yen.

By the end of lunch time, all 375 of the fish dishes were sold out, topping the 275 servings of chicken nanban.

“The boiled fish dish has never exceeded even 200,” an official of Yahoo Japan said. “I think the new system has had a large effect.”

In April and May before the price change, the daily number of the fish dishes sold at the cafeteria was around 128, compared with 480 for the fried chicken dishes.