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Best of 2007: Health

“Most marketing -- 85% -- is visual. Scent marketing is the last frontier,” says Harald Vogt, founder and chief marketer of the Scent Marketing Institute in Scarsdale, N.Y. To that end, scent marketers have come up with a variety of tactics to lure shoppers into malls by their noses -- and created a $100-million business in the process. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Vailia Dennis, 87, relishes the warmth of the afternoon sun. Like a growing number of patients, many of whom are older than 65, Dennis has refused further treatment for her medical condition. “This has been the most comfortable, the most interesting, time of my life,” she says. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
With the evolution of laser technology, do-it-yourself skin treatment has entered a new realm. Consumers can now calm acne flare-ups, plump facial wrinkles and restore thinning hair with a variety of hand-held devices. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)
Treat the epidermal itch the traditional way by using the common back scratcher. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Bernie Miller savors pole vaulting at 46. He vaulted in high school and college and took it up again a few years ago. “It felt exhilarating. Like I finally woke up from a nap or something,” he said. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Margaret Davis, 84, waits for the start of the L.A. Marathon in March, where she placed first in her age group. After decades of almost no athletic activity -- except for chasing around four kids and nine grandkids and attending PTA meetings -- Davis decided to get moving. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Tord Benner, 47, is a masters-level swimmer who competed when he was a teenager and in his college years. He recently took up competition and trains at the Costa Mesa Downtown Rec Center. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Meryn Cool of Holland was having a good time vacationing with friends at the Doheny State Beach campgrounds until he and the others said they smelled something foul. When health officials closed the beach because of contaminated water flowing down San Juan Creek into the surf, Cool took a contemplative break along the shore. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Artificial sweeteners, in packets of various colors of the rainbow, pervade the American diet. Even so, they’re viewed with distrust and the science can be confusing. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and scores of phytochemicals that scientists are just beginning to understand. Though their disease-fighting clout can be nuanced and complex, studies have shown that a diet of fruits and vegetables can lower various disease risks. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)