Objective To assess trends of mortality attributable to child and maternal undernutrition (CMU), overweight/obesity and dietary risks of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2015.Design For each risk factor, a systematic review of data was used to compute the exposure level and the effect size. A Bayesian hierarchical meta-regression analysis was used to estimate the exposure level of the risk factors by age, sex, geography and year. The burden of all-cause mortality attributable to CMU, fourteen dietary risk factors (eight diets, five nutrients and fibre intake) and overweight/obesity was estimated.Setting Sub-Saharan Africa.Participants All age groups and both sexes.Results In 2015, CMU, overweight/obesity and dietary risks of NCD accounted for 826204 (95 % uncertainty interval (UI) 737346, 923789), 266768 (95 % UI 189051, 353096) and 558578 (95 % UI 453433, 680197) deaths, respectively, representing 10·3 % (95 % UI 9·1, 11·6 %), 3·3 % (95 % UI 2·4, 4·4 %) and 7·0 % (95 % UI 5·8, 8·3 %) of all-cause mortality. While the age-standardized proportion of all-cause mortality accounted for by CMU decreased by 55·2 % between 1990 and 2015 in SSA, it increased by 63·3 and 17·2 % for overweight/obesity and dietary risks of NCD, respectively.Conclusions The increasing burden of diet- A nd obesity-related diseases and the reduction of mortality attributable to CMU indicate that SSA is undergoing a rapid nutritional transition. To tackle the impact in SSA, interventions and international development agendas should also target dietary risks associated with NCD and overweight/obesity.