In most developing countries, rising levels of nutrition and improvements in public health have led to declines in infant mortality and rising adult height. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, we see a different pattern. Sub-Saharan Africa has seen large reductions in infant mortality over the last fifty years, but without any increase in protein or energy intake, and against a background of stagnant, or even declining, adult height. Adult height is a sensitive indicator of the nutrition and morbidity prevailing during the childhood of the cohort and can be taken as a measure of population health. Declining infant mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa appear to be driven by medical interventions that reduce infant mortality, and may not be reflective of broad-based health improvements.