In England, they call this porridge. And it's a BIG TIME fad, according to this article by Louise France in the Guardian online food section:
"Suddenly an old-fashioned fry-up or a pain au chocolat seem like folly, as indulgent and unwise as an MP's expenses claim. Call it nostalgia, or a childish longing for comfort food, or a rampant fear of cholesterol, but everyone is going to work on versions of oats, water and salt."Health claims are rampant -- porridge has become "a kind of heroic superfood, able to do everything from hoover up cholesterol, boost testosterone levels, fend off heart disease, suppress the appetite and beat depression."
Celebrities who eat porridge are named and extolled. Restaurants create "posh" porridges of various sorts costing over $10 a bowl (if I did the exchange rate math right). The author gushes: "At the casually stylish Modern Pantry in east London I'm served jumbo and rolled oats in a moat of cream with crunchy dark muscovado sugar scattered on top, the swirl of dark sugar contrasting with the off-white puddle of cream."
Competitors enter contests for best recipe -- "including braised pigeon with porridge (not to be recommended) and a porridge spotted dick, with spices and dried fruit (surprisingly delicious)."
A funny fad!