This is a design principle which has been embraced, shunned, embraced, morphed, shunned, and embraced again by design disciplines throughout their existence. It could be considered the most basic of aesthetic principles. Should the object or place being designed LOOK like it functions, or should it not?
Although it is a topic of contention (engineers base their practice on form following function, landscape architects/architects make a living dissecting forms and manipulating them, sometimes independent of function), this principle also applies to the human body. What we do shapes (literally) what we look like, and what we look like shapes what we can do.
A sedentary individual consuming engineered products (edible food-like substances) is instantly distinguishable from a high-performance athlete who eats real food.
It has also been proven, too many times to list references, that physical attributes and nutrition have an immense effect on brain function. A lean, strong, healthy individual will have much clearer thoughts and be more focused than a sick person. At a medical level, an obese person is a sick person.
By reducing the quality of our lives through lack of exercise and poor nutrition, we are not only impacting our physical form (how we look), but our mental performance (how we function).
Since, on this blog, we’re interested in optimizing our existence (both form AND function), I’ll include some links to people who seem to be on the right track. Feel free to post any others you can think of.